Over 100 people were arrested only because they came out to the city center to celebrate.
The 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the Belarusian People's Republic is marked today. In Minsk and other cities of Belarus and the world, there are festive events dedicated to the jubilee of the first independent state in the contemporary history of Belarus.
At 12.00, the start of the March of Dignity and Freedom was planned in Minsk. The gathering of the protesters was scheduled to take place in the Yakub Kolas Square. The procession is planned along Independence Avenue and Yanka Kupala Street to the Opera Theatre, where a festive demonstration-concert, authorized by the Minsk city executive committee, was to start.
The website Charter97.org offered for your attention the live text coverage of the actions on the Freedom Day in Minsk. The video footage has been provided by Radio Liberty.
14.02 About 100 people were detained in different places.
13.41 Volha Chaichyts comments on her detention: "We with Adrei Kozel were supposed to accompany Mikalai Statkevich as journalists, the car was stopped three times. Our detention, I think, is due precisely to the fact that we had to cover the movement of the politician to the Yakub Kolas Square. "
13.40 Journalists inform that the ground in front of the Opera Theatre is crowded to the utmost, there's a number of white-red-white flags. Volunteers appointed by the organizing committee for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the BPR are watching over the order.
13.34 Detention of Belsat journalist Stanislau Ivashkevich, Viktar Ivashkevich's son, was reported to have happened in the Yakub Kolas Square.
13:15 Ales Lahviniets informed that activist Aliaksandr Zalatar has been detained in Slutsk. He was going to the sanctioned concert, with the equipment which was supposed to be in the holiday.
13.26 Belsat journalist Maryja Artsybashava reported that the police don't let anyone enter the Yakub Kolas Square, and check the documents and detain those who stop by. The police both in uniform and in plain clothes are still on duty in the Square.
13.18 More than 300 people with national symbols gathered in the Kalozhski Park in Hrodna to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the BPR. The stage was mounted at 10am. Hundreds of white-red-white flags have been hoisted.
13.15 Belarusians of Warsaw are marching along the Warsaw central streets with white-red-white flags.
13.10 Activist of the Razam solidarity movement Alena Talstaya published the photo of detainees held in the Savetski district police department.
13.06 The head of the BPR Rada Ivonka Survilla comments on the mass arrests in Minsk: "I express my support and sympathy to the arrested. I wish them all to hold on. " The head of the BPR Rada is now in Prague and participates in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Belarusian People's Republic, organized by the Belarusians of the Czech Republic. Ivonka Survilla congratulated the Belarusians on the BPR anniversary and stressed that this is not only a holiday, but also 100 years of struggle.
13.03 About 1 000 people have gathered near the Opera Theatre.
13.00 Plain-clothed agents are wandering about in the Yakub Kolas Square area, in the yards and cafes.
12.55 An elderly participant of the action in front of the Opera Theatre says that she comes with this white-red-white flag for all the Freedom Days, since 1988, together with Zianon Pazniak. Once the policeman took the flag, but he could not break the holder. "This year's holiday is special. This is a 100-year anniversary, " - the woman says.
12.53 Journalist Vital Tsyhankou's son has been detained in the Yakub Kolas Square. "My son has been detained in the Yakub Kolas Square. I photographed for my student project. Moreover, I did not get into the epicenter of the events, I advised him to stay away. They came over to the monument of Yakub Kolas, where my son was standing, and led him into the paddy wagon. To my interference, that I'm his dad, and that I'm with Radio Liberty, they said that they would take me also. My son came for one day to his homeland, especially on a holiday, " - the journalist wrote.
12.50 Several dozen white-red-white flags have been hoisted by the people near the Opera Theatre. The participants of the action are also holding white and red balloons.
12.47 Deputy Minister of the Interior Aliaksandr Barsukou and the head of the Minsk riot police came to the Yakub Kolas Square.
12.44 According to the journalists, a tolat of 50 people have been detained in the Yakub Kolas Square.
12.41 Belsat journalist Liubou Luniova has been detained
12.41 The BSDP activist Mikalai Pivavarnikau has been detained.
12.42 Andrei Kozel informed that he was freed but his phone is blocked - no connection, no Internet.
12.40 An elderly participant of the action in the Yakub Square Square: "I cannot put up with what is happening in the country. I will not put up with the dictatorshipo till my very last day. They fire you for having told the truth. And the biggest lawlessness is in the police. I want to live to the times when the power changes."
12.39 Journalist Ivan Iliash detained.
12.38 Activist Uladzimir Shyla was detained on his way from Salihorsk to Minsk. There was a message from activist Edward Balanchuk. He was detained at the bus stop, where waited for a bus to Minsk. He was taken to the police department for a "conversation". The journalist of the newspaper Vecherniy Bobruisk Iryna Kuptsevich writes that their car was detained at the exit from the city near Bayary. All four were detained and taken to the police department. Surnames: Ivan and Aliaksandr Khamrenka, as well as journalist Iryna Khamrenka-Ushakova.
12.35 The BNC activist Valiantsin Trokski and several participants of the celebration of the BPR's anniversary have been detained neat the CUM store in Minsk.
12.30 Participants of the sanctioned concert-demonstration have started gathering near the Opera Theatre in Minsk. The people are undergoing the search procedure.
12.29 Several dozen people have already gathered for the sanctioned concert-demonstration in Brest. The workers are mounting the stage and the sound equipment.
12.27 Civil activist, director Volha Nikalaichyk has been detained.
12.20 Participant of the action Siarhei Tarasenka hoisted a poster saying "Freedom to Afnahel, Niakliaeu, Siuchyk, Viniarski!" He told the journalists: "There's no sense being afraid of them. If we are, they will turn this country into some North Korea. This is a holiday, we should not have any fear on holiday."
12.19 The European Belarus activists Andrei Sharenda and Artsiom Charniak have been detained.
12.18 There was an attempt to detain Radio Liberty journalist Vital Tsyhankou.
12.16 Six observers of the HRC "Viasna" have been detained by police officers. These are Maksim Kavaliou, Nasta Loika, Tatsiana Mastykina, Andrei Krechka, Hanna Sakhankova.
12.13 A clash started at the attempt of detention of an elderly man.
12.11 Cameraman Andrei Kozel has been detained and is being driven to the psychoneurological dispensary.
12.10 A priest and a youngster with a white-red-white flag were detained. The HRC "Viasna" informs that a total of 30 people have been detained. It was reported that Mikalai Statkevich had been delivered to the Leninski district police department.
12.09 An elderly participant of the action: "This is the occupied Belarus, and we are living in it." 90-year-old Aliaksandr Karyzna said "I am not afraid of them!"
12.06 Chairman of the international commission of the Razam solidarity movement Ihar Lialkou told the journalists: "Illegal detention of peaceful citizens is taking place. This is lawlessness and arbitrariness of the police. The people see how frightened this government is, grabbing the citizens who gathered for a peaceful celebration. This is the "liberalization" that we have.
12.05 Several people have been detained in several minutes. The situation now reminds last year's events, the Freedom Day-2017.
12.02 A woman with a white-red-white flag has been detained. The riot police detained Alena Talstaya again. A person with the second degree of disability has been detained. The people are chanting "Shame!", "Fascists!". A fight occurred near the paddy wagon, the people tried to defend the detainees.
12.00 Alena Talstaya has hoisted the white-red-white flag.
11.59 Belsat journalists Katsiaryna Andreyeva and Siarhei Kavaliou, who were to cover the rally in the Yakub Kolas Square, have been detained in Minsk.
11.58 Alena Talstaya has been let out out of the paddy wagon. She told the journalists that about 7-10 people remain there. The people are standing faces tot he bars, arms behind the back. No one explain the reasons for the detention.
11.56 About 10 people have been detained int he Yakub Kolas Square. The people keep coming, with white and red flowers. Spokesperson for the Razam solidarity movement Alena Talstaya has been detained. She brought flowers to the monument of Yakub Kolas.
11.50 People started gathering in the Yakub Kolas Square. The Minsk riot police have already detained several people.
11.30 The authorities have started preventive detentions of activists who go to Minsk from the regions. 5 activists of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party were detained on their way out of Babruisk. Also, journalist Volha Chaichyts was detained. Mikalai Statkevich's neighbour informed that the politician was detained near his house.