Over 200 peaceful opponents of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko were arrested by riot police in Minsk on Thursday night.
There has been tension in Belarus since the controversial presidential election on 9 August, which Lukashenko officially won with 80% of the vote, with protests ensuing. Nearly 7,000 people were imprisoned in the days after the election.
In addition to the arrests, a group of about 20 Belarusian and foreign journalists were taken to the police station on Thursday evening for an “identity check” as they were preparing to cover the action of the opposition.
The security forces, wearing black masks, surrounded Independence Square in the centre of the capital Minsk and arrested many protesters who were there despite a ban on protests.
Lukashenko recently announced that he would take firm and systematic measures against the demonstrators.
Alexander Lukashenko has been in power in Belarus since 1994. Two weeks ago, the EU announced that it no longer recognised Lukashenko’s presidency.
The Brussels Times