Pro-govt forces thwart March of People with Disabilities

On November 12, another March of People with Disabilities was to take place in the Belarusian capital, but pro-government forces made it impossible.

In mid October, the first rally of such kind was held in the country: people with special needs, their families and friends are protesting against police abuse and persecuting dissidents.

At about 3 pm people started to gather in Independence Square; megaphoning policemen demanded the protesters disperse, but in vain. Then the police surrounded the participants and blocked the road at the Minsk Hotel and barred them from marching. When the demonstrators formed a solidarity chain, more police vans drove up.

As a result, the people had to seek shelter in the Red Church, and the march was not continued.

However, an hour later, a rally of women carrying white-red-white umbrellas kicked off:

The protest rallies in Belarus have been underway for three months. The major demands are Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s resignation, holding a free and fair election, releasing political prisoners, putting an end to police violence as well as state-run TV stations’ providing people with unbiased and reliable information. According to human rights activists’ estimates, more than 17,000 people have been detained in Belarus since the election day; many of them were beaten or tortured, some were raped. There are at least six death cases that are linked to the post-election protests. Hundreds are parties to criminal proceedings, the number of political prisoners exceeded 120.

Belarusian athlete in wheelchair found guilty of participating in unauthorised event