27 September 2020 | Infocenter Free Belarus 2020
Good morning. 50th Day of Protests in Belarus.
8:00 am Independent Telegram channels announced the March for inauguration of the true prezident (Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya) takes place today.
8:30 am Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei addressed the UN delegates yesterday and said that “external intervention aimed at undermining the state system” continues in Belarus.
“The world has forgotten what dialogue is, and they attempted to impose a ‘color revolution’ on Belarus, but the attempt failed,” he said.
9:30 am French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that Belarus’ leader Alexander Lukashenko must step down, after the EU refused to recognise him as the legitimate president of the ex-Soviet country.
“It’s clear he has to go,” Macron told French weekly the Journal du Dimanche ahead of a trip to EU states Lithuania and Latvia, which border Belarus.
“It is a crisis of power, an authoritarian power that cannot accept the logic of democracy and which is hanging on by force. It is clear that Lukashenko has to go.”
Macron on Sunday said he had been “impressed by the courage of the protesters”.
“They know the risks they are taking by demonstrating every weekend, and yet, they are pushing forward with the movement to make democracy come alive in this country that has been deprived of it for so long,” he said.
“Women in particular, who march every Saturday, command our respect,” he added.
9:40 am The Foreign Ministry of Japan has issued its fourth statement on the situation in Belarus. The Press Secretary, Yoshida Tomoyuki, condemned the authorities’ reluctance to engage in dialogue with society and called for an end to violence and arbitrary detention and oppression of Belarusian citizens.
10:00 am Belsat: There are 20-kilometer queues of cargo lorries and trucks on the Belarusian-Polish border. Drivers complain of queue time exceeding 15 hours. The Belarusian customs explain it is due to “the need to strengthen their control of the border”.
During the women’s forum on 17 September, Lukashenko claimed that “the authorities are forced to close the western borders of the country, primarily with Lithuania and Poland.”
10:15 am Military equipment is currently being brought to the centre of Minsk from the military units in Uruchcha, as is now usual before the Sunday march.
Belsat readers report that Independence Square has already been cordoned off by a fence.
11:10 am Several large shopping centres in the centre of Minsk announced their closure today, including shopping centres “Galleria Minsk” and “Zamok” located on Victors Avenue, and “Crown” on Kalvariyskaya street. “Stolitsa”, on Independence Square, is likely to be shut as well.
11:50 am The Ministry of Internal Affairs has published its statistics on yesterday’s events:
- 10 protest events took place in 6 cities and towns.
- Around 300 people took part in the rallies, including 200 in Minsk.
- A total of 150 people were detained, with only 34 having been released so far.
As claimed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 13 pro-Lukashenko events were held in all regions of the country yesterday, with around 40,000 allegedly participating in them.
12:01 pm Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya expressed her support to Belarusians on the 50th day of the protests. She pointed out that she is proud of Belarusian people, who have been protesting for 50 days already trying to stop the regime, and who have been doing it so peacefully.
“Democracy means the power of the people. And the entire nation is stronger than a single man, because people are fighting for their rights, for their future and the future of their children. We are millions, and we are ready to take responsibility for our decisions. That’s why we shall win,” she wrote in her Telegram channel “Pool Pervoy”.
12:06 pm Three out of five Best Sound Band musicians, who performed yesterday during the Women’s March, were taken to the detention centre on Akrescina Street.
Today, actors Aliaksandr Pomidorov and Vladislav Novozhilov, who were arrested earlier, are to be released.
12:25 pm Arrests have started in Minsk. Belsat reports that two people were detained at the shopping centre “Galeria”.
12:42 pm Nasha Niva readers report that KFC and Burger King in Niamiha district are not open today due to technical reasons.
12:45 pm Tut.by writes that four Beltyazhmash employees, detained on 16 September, were released after pledging not to leave the country and not to misbehave. Igor Anischenka, the head of the construction company, remains in police custody.
The building, which belongs to the company, also houses Viktar Babaryka’s election headquarters.
1:01 pm Tut.by readers write that in the area of Victory Square and Kazlou Street, there are a lot of ambulances – their drivers wearing balaclavas – moving in different directions.
1:08 pm As reported by the media and readers, the following metro stations are closed: Lenin Square; Oktyabrskaya; Victory Square; Yakub Kolas Square; Kupalauskaya; Niamiha; Frunzienskaya.
1:10 pm Russian “MBK Mediac” journalist Anastasia Olshevskaya, who was detained yesterday, is now in Zhodzina detention centre. Five Belsat journalists have not yet been released as well.
1:43 pm A lot of armoured vehicles have been seen at the Independence Palace, on Saperov Street. It’s probably the first time that security forces have concentrated so much equipment into one point. (Video)
1:45 pm At the “Galeria” shopping centre, unknown people in masks and balaclavas, together with riot police, are searching people. At least one man was detained – he had a bouquet of red and white flowers in his hands.
Uniformed riot policemen stopped two guys and a girl. Their phones were checked and taken away. The girl had a white-red-white flag in her backpack. The kids were taken to a minibus.
Acting Minister of Health Dmitry Pinevich linked the increase in COVID-19 cases with “what we see on weekends,” reports TUT.BY.
Let us remind you that more than 40,000 people took part in yesterday’s demonstration in support of Lukashenko, according to the Interior Ministry.
1:52 pm In Minsk, the authorities are blocking traffic headed towards the city center along the perimeter of the city.
2:20 pm The mobile Internet in Belarus is apparently going to be turned off in 10 minutes.
2:21 pm 8 people detained at the intersection of Masherov and Timiryazev streets, reports @Onliner.
2:23 pm Ambassador of Belarus to Argentina, Vladimir Astapenko, has resigned. According to “Nasha Niva” information, he did so in disagreement with the political situation in Belarus.
2:25 pm A few thousand people are headed towards the Stele Obelisk.
2:26 pm Arrests have started in Minsk Niamiha district.
2:28 pm Arrests have started at the demonstration in Navapolatsk.
2:30 pm Masherov Avenue is being brutally cleared of people – the detainees are being ruthlessly beaten.
2:32 pm Arrests have started during the demonstrations in Lida, Hrodna and Mahiliou. In Mahiliou, a man who was recently released from administrative arrest for participating in previous protests, was pulled out of a taxi and arrested again while he was passing through the city centre.
2:34 pm In Minsk, cruel detentions continue all over the city; it is impossible to list all locations – there are too many.
2:35 pm A protest has started in Zhodzina, quite a lot of people have gathered there.
2:36 pm Virtually all main streets are closed in Minsk. People in the Janka Kupala Theatre side of the city are not being allowed to cross to the Stele Obelisk side.
2:38 pm Little by little, people are finding their way to Niamiha and Sport palace, where a large group of people is forming.
2:38 pm Mass detentions have started in Mahiliou. Over 20 have been detained.
2:44 pm A protest demonstration has started in Kobryn.
2:45 pm Violent mass detentions are taking place near Yubileynaya Hotel in Minsk.
2:48 pm A column of protesters is moving down Shevchenko Boulevard (Minsk).
2:49 pm Several dozens of arrests are already known to have taken place in Minsk.
2:50 pm Igor Byblikov, editor-in-chief of NewGrodno news portal, and journalist Igor Remzin were arrested in Hrodna.
2:51 pm A protest demonstration has started in Babruysk; people are marching through the city.
2:54 pm The protesters blocked Victors Avenue in Minsk. The column already contains more than 10,000 people, and more are joining.
2:55 pm A small protest meeting has started in Pinsk.
2:57 pm Arrests have started in Baranavichy.
2:59 pm A large demonstration in Soligorsk.
2:59 pm More and more people at the Stele Obelisk in Minsk.
3:00 pm The media estimate the number of demonstrators at the Stele as about ten thousand people – and this is only the beginning of the march.
3:05 pm Journalist Igor Remzik was detained in Hrodna. Eyewitnesses report that prior to arrest security forces ripped off his vest with the inscription “Press”
3:11 pm In Mahilou, OMON (riot police) broke up a column of protesters. People were grabbed, they fled but many were detained.
3:15 pm There are already tens of thousands of people on the march in Minsk. The protesters have few posters, but many white-red-white flags. There are portraits of Tikhonovskaya, including those with the signature “Sveta=Light at the end of the tunnel.” People shout “Go away!” Near the stele, the security forces are trying to drown out the screams of the crowd with music and reading the Law on mass events.
3:22 pm In Mahilou, stun grenades were used.
3:34 pm Tear gas is used to disperse protesters in Homel. Eyewitnesses report shots. Now, the fountain in front of the circus, in the city center, people have formed a chain and chant “This is our city!”
3:45 pm Various media estimate that more than 30 thousand people have already gathered in the center of Minsk. The first rows of the column march keeping the chain moving.
3:50 pm In Mahilou, the military pulled a man right out of his car and put him in a police car. Аnd in the detainee’s car a child was left sitting. The traffic cop took the boy to the police station.
3:55 pm The column, consisting of tens of thousands of people, is marching towards the center – so far everything is calm, with no attacks by security forces or detentions. People are chanting “Sveta is our president”.
4:10 pm According to Nasha Niva’s calculations, more than 50,000 people have already gathered in the center of Minsk
4:20 pm Many roads and intersections in the center of Minsk have been blocked. Public transport is also being turned around.
4:25 pm Human Rights Center “Viasna” reports at least 48 people detained at rallies across the country
4:30 pm A moment of silence in memory of all the victims of the protests took place. The column has already reached Bangalore Square.
4:39 pm People are being detained from the back of the column. Several people have already been taken.
4:40 pm In Homel, a woman was sprayed with tear gas in the face. Shots were heard. People in black with truncheons and weapons push the protesters back. The protesters shout “fascists”.
4:55 pm Most of the streets in Minsk were blocked with a lot of military vehicles. The head of the column reached Yakub Kolas Street and stopped at an intersection, and then moved towards Independence Avenue.
5:05 pm Pavel Latushka declared that he and other members of the Coordination Counsil Presidium are ready – under safety and security guarantees from Russia and the EU – to return to Belarus and to begin negotiations on the transfer of power and the organization of new presidential elections. He also outlined the readiness to establish an alternative Foreign Ministry of Belarus abroad.
5:10 pm The lead singer of the “Arkady Kots” group was detained near the Belarusian Embassy in Moscow. A concert of solidarity with protesters in Belarus was to be held there today.
5:15 pm Three ambulances arrived at the Hrodna pre-trial detention center. According to eyewitnesses, one girl was taken out with a bandaged leg, another was beaten. A middle-aged woman was taken away with high blood pressure.
Dozens of relatives are waiting near the pre-trial detention center, and the first detainees have been released.
5:30 pm The demonstrators reached the Academy of Sciences metro station. The tail of the column – pay attention – is more than a kilometer from the head – which is still near “Riga”.
5:35 pm Moskovskaya and Vostok metro stations are closed for both entrance and exit.
5:40 pm According to Interfax, Radio Liberty and Nasha Niva, at least 100,000 people are taking part in the rally. Now the head of the columnis at the Moscow metro station.
5:52 pm According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, at least 200 people were detained at today’s rallies across the country.
5:55 pm Paramedics walk along the column of protesters to provide first aid if necessary. Next to them there are several men in civilian clothes with their faces covered.
6:00 pm In Homel, Hrodna and Mahilou, protest actions are over for today.
6:00 pm During today’s rally in Minsk, the traffic police have not closed the avenue for traffic moving toward the center, so cars are heading toward the protesters. When drivers see people, they turn around.
6:28 pm Minsk. According to eyewitness reports, military equipment is heading toward the National Library, including water cannons and prisoner transport vans. Some of the equipment was taken down Independence Avenue.
6:47 pm Minsk. A crowd of protesters has reached the Uruchche metro station and is continuing to move forward. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has announced that the protesters went home at 5:00 pm.
6:48 pm The Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs has announced that today, no more than 200 people were arrested at protests.
6:56 pm Minsk. People have begun to disperse and head home. Several thousand people have reached the endpoint of the march.
7:03 pm Minsk. Mass arrests began at Spektr mall in the Uruchche district, when people began to split up into small groups.
7:09 pm Minibuses carrying security forces are moving slowly, and detentions are taking place in small pockets around town. The arrests continue to be violent, and one man was seen with a face and head in blood.
7:11 pm Mobile Internet is working again in Minsk.
7:15 pm Minsk. The riot police and unidentified individuals wearing balaclavas have rushed into DODO Pizza in the Uruchche district of Minsk. According to a TUT.BY correspondent, at least two people were arrested.
7:18 pm Eyewitnesses report that the traffic police have blocked the entrance to a military camp where many members of the security forces live. Officers are checking drivers’ documents.
7:21 pm Prisoners are being released in Hrodna.
7:23 pm Minsk. The Uruchche metro station is open once again. Earlier, several security forces had run into the underpass leading to the metro. They found people in the underpass who were waiting for the station to open again, and no one was arrested.
7:23 pm The Belarus Golovnogo Mozga (Belarus Brains) Telegram channel has been asking drivers for help bringing protesters home, in order for them to avoid arrest and potential injury.
7:25 pm Onliner’s Telegram channel has published Lukashenko’s response to Macron: “The President of France, by his own logic, should have resigned two years ago”.
Arrests are continuing not only in Uruchche, but also in courtyards in downtown Minsk.
7:27 pm Minsk. At the Spektr mall, a man wearing a helmet and balaclava has blocked several people and rudely demanded that they show him the video recordings on their phones.
7:40 pm Hrodna. Once again, an ambulance has arrived at the police station, where the pre-trial detention center is located.
7:42 pm Nearly 140 individuals were arrested during Sunday’s protests in Minsk.
“All of them were transferred to territorial police stations for trial,” stated Minsk Police Department spokeswoman Natallia Ganusevich.
8:43 pm Singers Aleksandr Pamidorov and Vladislav Navazhilau were released from Zhodino prison after eight days of detention for participating in an “unsanctioned” concert.
8:50 pm The Ministry of the Interior has confirmed that special equipment was deployed in relation to the protests in Mahilou and Homiel today. According to state media, flash bangs were not used, though the TUT.BY Telegram channel has published information including a photo of an empty stun grenade pouch.
9:07 pm Most of those detained in Homel were sent to jail overnight. There is no room left at the temporary detention center. Presumably, criminal charges will be filed in connection with today’s events.
9:29 pm Following the incident in Minsk two weeks ago, when a woman was wrapped in barbed wire following a motorbike accident, security forces today began to set up warning signs using cardboard to try to prevent a similar occurrence.
9:35 pm Today in Minsk, leaflets were circulated urging the military to not carry out criminal orders. A video was then published, of soldiers picking up all of the leaflets.
10:00 pm Both Moscow and St. Petersburg saw demonstrations of solidarity with Belarus today. One person was arrested at the demonstration in Moscow, and none were arrested in St. Petersburg.
10:30 pm In the city of Baranavichy, Belarus, Tsikhanouskaya was congratulated with fireworks for “taking office as President”.
10:35 pm Belarusian police officers are complaining that they have a lot of work, lately:
“Lately, all the law enforcement services are seeing their workload increase, from time to time. We are having to work in more difficult, specific conditions. That is due to the political situation in the country,” said Interior ministry member Maksim Svirid.