08:17 GMT11 April 2021
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    MINSK (Sputnik) - Several people were detained during unauthorized protests in Minsk on Saturday, police spokeswoman Natalia Ganusevich told Sputnik.

    "Several people have so far been detained over their participation in unlawful rallies. All illegal actions will be thwarted," Ganusevich said.

    She also reminded participants in unauthorized rallies of liability.

    Protests broke out in Belarus in August after the opposition challenged incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko's reelection for a sixth term. Anti-government rallies continue to this day, but numbers have since dramatically dwindled. In February, the State Security Committee (KGB) of Belarus said that the situation had stabilized and that the protest wave had almost faded away.

    The opposition, meanwhile, hopes to resume protests this spring. On 25 March, when the opposition traditionally celebrates Freedom Day, it looked to hold large-scale rallies. The interior ministry, however, reported mainly lone pickets, but still arrested over 200 people on that day for violating a law on mass gatherings.

    Earlier in the day, the Investigative Committee said that it had opened a criminal case in connection with calls for March 27 protests on Telegram channels, including those recognized as extremist in the country. The opposition still stated plans to hold rallies. Police have been deployed to possible areas of protests.

    Tags:
    detention, protest, Minsk
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