26 September 2020 | Infocenter Free Belarus 2020
8:25 am A video has emerged showing that yesterday’s detention of “European Belarus” activists was carried out by armed men.
9:07 am Dmitry Mazur, a student from Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics, who was kidnapped on the street, made a speech yesterday at a protest near the university. During the election campaign, Dmitry was an independent observer. His mother was denied the right to pass him warm clothes.
9:35 am Yahor Martsinovich, Nasha Niva’s chief editor, was released following 3 days of detention. The journalist remains a suspect in a libel case.
9:40 am Dzmitry Semchenko, former head of Lukashenko’s journalistic pool, has been released from detention. “I don’t regret a second about what I have done,” commented Semchenko.
10:02 am Around 40 people have gathered in Minsk in the “Druzhby Narodau” park to take part in the race “Free people race”. All proceeds received by the race will be donated to the funds in support of the Belarusian protests.
10:53 am Former US Ambassador to Belarus Kenneth Yalowitz expressed his opinion, in his interview with Voice of America, on how the current situation in Belarus could affect the expected exchange of ambassadors between the two countries. “The new US ambassador will not go to Minsk, but we most likely will not close the embassy, as it is necessary to continue the dialogue.”
11:38 am Around 5 units of special security equipment with soldiers in balaclavas were seen on Partizansky Avenue in Minsk.
11:42 am According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Lukashenko’s choice in favor of supporting Russia means inevitable confrontation between Ukraine and Belarus, which also increases the possible risks for Ukraine.
11:49 am Detentions have begun at the Minsk “Free people race”.
11:51 am In Hrodna Nikolai Solyanik, a representative of the “Belarusian National Congress” has been detained.
11:53 am Ukrainian President Zelensky has refused to meet with Lukashenko. It has been reported that Ukraine is suspending its international and regional projects with Belarus until the end of the political crisis.
11:59 am The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus does not consider the call to shoot at protesters with live ammunition as incitement to hostility or as a call to violence. It should be remembered that an audio recording with such an appeal by one of the Belarusian citizens has been posted on the Interiors Ministry’s website in order to demonstrate the unnecessary nature of the protests.
12:00 pm The state radio of Belarus has launched an announcement warning of imprisonment for up to 15 years for participation in unauthorized rallies.
12:15 pm 522,000 Belarusians (96.75%) who have taken part in a poll run by the Golos Platform recognize the Coordination Council as a representative of society in dialogue with the State.
Of the 504,000 people who took part in the survey, 1.25% answered the question negatively, and 2% could not answer.
“People’s support cannot be imitated or, on the contrary, hidden. When there is public trust, there is no need for special operations or secret inaugurations,” said Pavel Latushko, a member of the Coordination Council Presidium.
12:17 pm Radio Liberty reports that the participants of the “Free people run”, which took place today in Minsk, have been detained around 3km into the run. The security forces ran after the participants through the park for some time, then detained two runners. Those who managed to reach the finish line stood there for a while and then left the venue, being quite upset by what had happened: “This is a run! There were no posters, no shouts.”
12:23 am In an interview with the Israeli newspaper israelhayom.co.il, Pavel Latushka said that 85% of civil servants want Lukashenko to leave. According to Pavel, only a few people from the inner circle are actually interested in Lukashenko holding on to power.
“I know this as a former member of the Ministers’ Council, and as an ambassador to five countries and two organizations. I say with confidence: 85% of government officials want to replace Lukashenko… They just sit and wait for the events to develop.”
12:29 pm The security forces blocked the entrances to the metro near the Victory Monument in Minsk, writes Tut.by. A women’s protest rally is due to take place here today.
12:31 pm Sitting protests continue in the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics. Yesterday, unidentified men detained Dmitry Mazur, a student, who delivered a speech before the protesters.
12:32 pm According to “White gowns” channel, Bogdan Shilnikovsky, an anesthesiologist and intensive care doctor, has been summoned by police to give a statement, and has been detained again. He suffers from diabetes.
On 12 August, Bogdan was beaten and detained for allegedly organizing a rally and helping the media arrange equipment. He was in custody at Akrestsin detention centre where he was denied insulin and fell critically ill.
12:46 pm Nasha Niva editor Yegor Martinovich found himself in the same cell as a Volkswagen driver, whose car was smashed by a crowd of security forces on Wednesday after Lukashenko’s “secret inauguration”. According to Alexei, the driver:
- He and his wife did not take part in the protests, they were simply driving towards the center.
- He was not drunk, as was recorded in the police statement.
- A crowd of security forces ran into the car, but they could not get Alexei and his wife out as they were strapped in.
- Alexei, stressed and under adrenaline, pressed the gas pedal and drove off. He does not remember hitting the traffic police officer, nor subsequent events.
- The road police chased and apprehended them; without resistance Alexei was pulled from the car. The police started beating him violently, but people from the windows of neighboring houses started shouting “fascists” and the chief of police ordered them to stop. The driver had no traces of severe beatings; his wife was released.
- Alexei did not sign any statements, since he did not remember the events of that evening due to shock. He has a lawyer.
- On Monday, Alexei will be transferred to a pre-trial detention center on Volodarsky street. Alexei holds a philosophical view of the situation and hopes for the best.
12:50 pm Workers of the largest chemical enterprise “Naftan” installed a national flag standing 120-meters tall.
1:00 pm Students have gathered for a daily protest near the Minsk State Linguistic University and are singing the traditional “Mury”.
1:11 pm Victory Square metro station is closed to passengers. Over-ground transport is not stopping at the square either.
Readers report a large accumulation of military equipment in this part of the city.
1:22 pm Restaurant owners started withdrawing their membership from the Association of Restaurateurs of Belarus after the head of the Association, Natalya Sadovskaya, was spotted at Lukashenko’s “secret inauguration”. Her actions are condemned by both those who want changes and those who believe that the Association should remain neutral to politics.
Artem Gerasimov was one of the first to leave the Association. “By further remaining in aresto.by I will discredit myself,” he said.
1:23 pm Maria Kalesnikava’s lawyer, Lyudmila Kazak, will continue working with her client and will file a complaint with the Interior Ministry against the refusal to initiate a criminal case on the abduction of a member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council of the Belarusian opposition. She made her announcement in MBH Media.
1:25 pm Minsk Tractor Plant workers recorded a video address demanding an end to violence, justice to bring those responsible to account and to hold fair and open elections.
“We demand open and fair presidential elections. An election of a president whose hands will not be covered in blood. ”
1:30 pm As reported by Reuters, the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, on Friday chided President Donald Trump for not speaking out about the repression of democratic protests in Belarus, a country he said is being run by a “dictator.”
In a statement emailed to Reuters, Biden sided with demonstrators’ “peaceful expressions of freedom” and demands for new elections.
“Yet President Trump refuses to speak out against Lukashenko’s actions or to offer his personal support for the pro-democracy movement,” Biden said, using an alternate spelling of the Belarusian politician’s name.
1:55 pm Andrei Sadovsky, Foreign Ministry Adviser on Political and Consular Issues, has been dismissed from his post. On his Facebook page, Sadovsky published his own poems condemning the violence against those who disagree with Lukashenko’s victory.
2:10 pm The weekly Women’s March begins on Komarovka Street. Nina Baginskaya has already joined the action. Young women are chanting “Nina is our hero.” Vans with tinted windows are stationed nearby, and the police, as always, warn participants that the event is not sanctioned. The girls answer “You are illegitimate!” and “This is our city.”
2:21 pm The security forces started detaining the participants of the Women’s March. Men in balaclavas and olive-coloured clothes without insignia have detained about 10 women with flowers. The rest of the participants have fled.
2:30 pm Around 50 people, including Nina Baginskaya, remain at the rally near Komarovka. They are talking to reporters.
2:42 pm 73-year-old Nina Baginskaya was again detained. Euroradio video. An unknown man in a balaclava took away the white-red-white flag from her and ran to the police van, Nina ran after him.
2:48 pm Five vans with security officers in olive-coloured uniforms have arrived at Komarovka and are now searching the market.
Passing drivers are taking the young women away, rescuing them from detention.
2:53 pm Several dozen women are chanting “Long live Belarus!” and walking towards the avenue. Police vans and minibuses without identifying marks are stationed across the street from the protesters.
2:55 pm After checking the accreditation papers, Euroradio correspondent Yulia Matuzova was detained, she was wearing a blue vest with the words “PRESS”.
Whereas, BT journalists are working without any identification marks and have not been detained for some reason.
3:05 pm Nina Baginskaya was released half an hour after her arrest. She was dropped from the police van with a flag stick in her hand – the flag itself was taken.
3:17 pm Buses and police vans appeared again near Yakub Kolas Square, where unknown people wearing olive uniforms began to detain people. One of the protesters was brought to a bus by the arms and legs.
3:25 pm Participants of the women’s march walk along Independence Avenue and chant “Give our Masha back!” and “President is Sveta”. They were filmed by BT. The women drove off pro-government journalists.
3:30 pm At the women’s march, “tihari” (people in inconspicuous civilian clothes and masks, who often brutally beat the protesters) wearing “Press” vests were noticed.
3:40 pm Despite the arrests, the women’s march continues! The column goes towards Victory Square. Unknown people wearing masks wander around. They show up from time to time, grab a few people from the crowd and leave. Most of the protesters manage to scatter before they approach.
3:50 pm OMON riot police is already waiting for women on Victory Square. Having seen the security officials, the protesters turned around and went in the opposite direction.
4:00 pm Women are hiding in the courtyards from unknown masked people. Courtyards near Yakub Kolas Square were surrounded and some of the participants were detained.
4:10 pm The metro station “Ploshchad Pobedy” is also closed.
4:12 pm Detentions are taking place both on Independence Avenue and in the courtyards where the women fled when the security forces appeared.
4:20 pm The human rights organization “Viasna” published 24 names of those detained today at the women’s march. Among them are the musicians of the BEST SOUND BAN cover band, who were seized in the underground passage of the metro station near Yakub Kolas Square.
4:40 pm Journalists of “Nasha Niva” – Katerina Karpitskaya, of “TUT.BY” – Sasha Elbaum and of “Euroradio” – Maria Voitovich got detained.
4:50 pm Half an hour ago, a woman from Minsk was sitting next to a police bus on the lawn and begging them to let her daughter go. The girl was detained for just sitting on a bench. The siloviki did not heed the mother’s requests, and the bus with the detainee left. Now they have detained the mother herself – three security officers lifted her from the lawn and carried her into a minibus.
5:07 pm In Grodno, against the background of a police van, actors of the Grodno Drama Theater performed some parts from the play “Fahrenheit 451,” which was canceled.
5:10 pm It looks like this Saturday women’s march is over as there are no protesters near Yakub Kolas Square
5:25 pm It is reported that the metro station Ploshchad Pobedy was opened to passengers.
5:35 pm According to the human rights center “Viasna,” at least 56 people have been detained.
5:50 pm According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists, journalist Alena Dovnar was detained in Minsk today. In just one day, six journalists have been detained, so far only one of them was released.
6:09 pm Anton Kashlikov of 34mag has reported on Facebook that journalists Maria Parkhimichik and Yulia Mironova have been arrested.
6:18 pm Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya commented on today’s women’s march and condemned police brutality, saying, “We all deserve respect. We know this, and therefore we cannot be stopped.”
6:21 pm A Homiel resident has hung a plaque with the name of deceased protester Aliaksandr Vikhor on a local honor board.
6:25 pm Approximately 30 bikers rode down Independence Avenue waving white-red-white flags.
6:30 pm The police have released journalists Maria Voitovich, Alexandra Elbaum, and Katerina Kapritskiaya. Maria Grits and Aliona Dovnar are still in custody.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has expressed her condolences to the Ukrainaian people following the plane crash and death of several Air Force cadets, reports Pul Pervoi.
6:58 pm Russia’s delegation will not be traveling to the Forum of Regions in Belarus, and will instead be participating remotely. The official reason given was coronavirus.
7:18 pm Russian journalist Anastasia Alshanskaya of MBK Media was arrested during today’s women’s march. She is currently at one of Minsk’s police stations.
8:00 pm Participants from various neighborhood Telegram chats, which have become extremely popular during the protests, are meeting in Minsk and other cities around the country. People are organizing concerts, soccer matches, and lectures.
8:15 pm People who had come out to commemorate Aliaksandr Taraikouski got arrested at Pushkinskaya metro station in Minsk.
8:35 pm At least four people were arrested while standing in a solidarity chain in Minsk Serebryanka neighborhood.
8:37 pm The famous Russian rap group Kasta greeted the residents of one of Minsk’s residential complexes by video conference and then live-streamed their concert from Saint Petersburg. The rappers expressed their desire to see Belarus getting “a new President.”
8:41 pm “It is not worth forcing Cyprus to support sanctions against Belarus. That is their position, and their right,” says Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán. It is worth mentioning that the Hungarian leader has been harshly criticized by EU bodies for flouting democratic principles.
8:43 pm A Belsat reporter Maria Grits has been taken to Akrestsina detention center, for at least one night.
8:59 pm Postavy resident Anatoly Ostrovsky was held for over 72 hours in an isolation unit, which is against the law. He was released, only to be re-arrested. Ostrovsky has now begun a hunger strike. He suffers from diabetes, and in protest is refusing both food and his medication. His attorney is not being allowed access to him.
9:00 pm The “Solidarity with Belarus” concert is now underway in Warsaw, where famous Belarusian and Polish artists are performing as a sign of support for the Belarusian people.
9:24 pm Journalist Aliona Dovnar has been transferred to the Akrestsina detention center.
9:34 pm An LGBT activist and journalist Viktoria Biran has been taken to Akrestsina detention center.
9:40 pm An LGBT activist and musician Evgeniy Velko has been taken to Akrestsina detention center.
9:48 pm CyberPartisans have hacked into the livestreams on the websites of television stations BT and ONT – they managed to broadcast clips of recent harsh beatings and police brutality.
10:09 pm Social activist and former director of Radislava women’s shelter Volha Gorbunova, who was arrested during today’s protests, has been transferred to Zhodino detention center.
10:22 pm 34mag editors Maria Parkhimchik and Yulia Mirоnova have been transferred to the Akrestsina detention center.
10:55 pm The band VAL will no longer represent Belarus at Eurovision 2021. After the band spoke out against police violence at peaceful protests, the national broadcaster, which selects the performers, stated that the musicians have “no conscience.”
10:57 pm Minsk Catholic Church of Saints Symon and Alena held a Requiem Mass evening dedicated to those who have lost their lives in peaceful protests.