Protests continued in Belarus this weekend, as tens of thousands took to the streets to demand the resignation of president Lukashenko. On Saturday, 415 women were arrested during a peaceful march in Minsk during the sixth consecutive week of demonstrations. By Marta Portocarrero.
A hot weekend in Belarus
This Saturday, approximately 2,000 women took part in a peaceful march to demand the resignation of president Alexander Lukashenko, whom they believe won a fraudulent election on the 9th of August.
According to the government, Belarus’ police – which has been criticised for its violent actions over protesters – arrested 415 women. 385 have since been released.
One of them was a 73-year old geologist whose defiance has turned her into an icon among the protesters.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the opposition leader who fled to Lithuania after the election, praised the march in a video statement.
“They have frightened and put pressure on women for the second month, but despite this, Belarusians are continuing their peaceful protest and showing their amazing fortitude”, she said.
On the following day, tens of thousands were back on the streets of the capital Minsk demanding the resignation of Lukashenko.
This was one of the rallies that has been happening every weekend since the election of the 9th of August.
Police presence at the protest was heavy, with military trucks and vehicles rolling into the centre of Minsk and officers sporadically detaining protesters carrying flags and signs with anti-government messages.
Police data leaked
The aggressive tactics used by police in Belarus prompted an opposition group to publish a list of names and ranks of more than 1,000 police on a Telegram channel.
During protests, police officers have appeared in plain-clothes or uniforms without insignia or name badges and often use masks or balaclavas to avoid being identified.
The opposition said they will continue to publish data on a massive scale, until “no one will remain anonymous even under a balaclava”.
The government has reacted by saying they will find and punish those behind the data leak.