About 50 activists reported arrested near camp of protestors in Minsk early on Wednesday 14:39, 22/03/2006
There were unconfirmed reports that around 50 people were grabbed by police while they were leaving a camp of anti-Lukashenko protestors on Oktyabrskaya Square in the wee hours of Wednesday.
As Ales Chekholsky, secretary of the Conservative Christian Party, told BelaPAN, many of those arrested were severely beaten.
In particular, activist Mikhail Avdeyev was attacked by a policeman at the entrance to a subway station at about 8 a.m.
Police reportedly told those attacked to warn fellow protestors that they could wind up getting beaten as well.
Leonid Gorovoi, ex-principal of a general education school near Gorodok, Vitebsk region who stayed on the square on Wednesday morning, described the camp as an "island of freedom."
"I`m standing together with youths who don`t want to live in a lying state which is incapable of holding a true and fair election. The youths are pressing for democracy and freedom, laughing at the lies pouring from the Belarusian airwaves," he said.
Some 200 people stayed on the square on Wednesday morning. The activists said they lacked plastic kitchenware, brooms, garbage packages and hot soup.
People exiting buses that stop a few dozen meters away from the camp had to start running toward the protestors to avoid being caught by black-clad police patrolling the venue.