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24/09/2021
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Belarusian police detain numerous protesters in Minsk

Belarusian police detained numerous protesters on Sunday at the start of renewed demonstrations against President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk.

Some 100 people, including many journalists, were detained in the afternoon, according to Viasna, a human rights organization. Police also deployed stun grenades and tear gas, news site tut.by reported.

Photographs and videos showed large groups of people heading towards the centre of Minsk. Black-clad security forces hit demonstrators and carried them to small buses. People injured with bandaged heads could be seen sitting on the ground.

Observers reported that mobile internet was shut down at times, as the authorities seek to keep protestors from agreeing on routes to take.

Several metro stations were closed in Minsk to prevent people from reaching the city centre, and a downtown intersection was blocked off.

It is the ninth consecutive weekend of protests since the disputed presidential election on August 9, in which Lukashenko claims he received 80 per cent of the vote, while the opposition says the true winner is exiled leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

The EU has not recognized the election results. Lukashenko, 66, has led Belarus, a former Soviet republic between Russia and EU member state Poland, for more than a quarter of a century, tolerating little dissent.

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