Over 400 people were detained in Minsk and other Belarusian cities in unsanctioned protest rallies on Wednesday, a source in the country’s Interior Ministry said.
The source said the most numerous rally in the country’s capital of Minsk took place in the southwest of the city near the Titan trade center, but he did not specify the number of people.
He added that over 60 people were detained in the Minsk Region, excluding the city, over 20 people in the Mogilyov Region and over 200 in the Vitebsk Region.
Police in Minsk earlier on Wednesday detained briefly a film crew from Russia’s NTV television station, but released them shortly after inspecting their documents.
A new wave of protests in Minsk and other cities on Sunday saw police use tear gas to break up a protest in the Belarusian capital in which demonstrators clapped over an Independence Day speech by Lukashenko, repeating recent midweek protests organized on social networking websites.
Belarus has seen unprecedented economic and political turmoil in recent months, as increasingly frequent protests against the 17-year reign of the authoritarian Lukashenko have combined with a 36% devaluation of the national currency.