Thousands of women bearing red and white flags and flowers demonstrated on Saturday in the streets of Minsk against the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, according to footage shown on social media.
Belarus has faced daily protests and strikes ever since presidential elections on 9 August, which President Lukashenko claims to have won with 80% of the vote, but which the opposition has denounced as rigged.
Women also marched in other cities and towns of Belarus on Saturday morning, in answer to an opposition call.
In the early afternoon, it was mainly students who protested within the framework of a “solidarity action,” and security forces again made many arrests, as they had done during the morning.
Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years, accused the protesters of spreading the new coronavirus by holding on to one another while marching in the streets and not observing social distancing rules.
“In this way, we are doing everything to delay the time when we’ll be able to say goodbye to this disease,” he said. “That’s unacceptable.”