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Protesters detained in dozens again, several sentenced to prison sentences

(August 25, 2020)


Teachers protesting outside the Ministry of Education in Minsk. The protests was prompted by Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s threat to expel disloyal educators from schools. August 25, 2020. Photo:


Over fifty protesters were detained on 25 August during and after several demonstrations held in Minsk, Homieĺ, Hrodna and Babrujsk. Some of them were released, but are expected to stand trials soon.

At least twenty people were held in two protests staged in Minsk’s Independence Square. At least three persons were detained during a picket held in the afternoon outside the Ministry of Education and over fifteen during and after a daily protest in the evening, which brought together several thousand demonstrators.

Ahead of the protests, numerous police personnel, riot gear and prisoner transport vehicles were pulled in.

Some protesters were snatched by riot policemen for merely carrying white-red-white flags. The detainees were later found in the detention center in Akrescin Street.

Twenty-eight employees of the Hrodna-Azot chemical factory were detained in Hrodna. The detainees were taken to a district police department, but eventually released, after a crowd of people arrived to demand their immediate release. Tear gas was reportedly used by riot police to disperse the protesters.

Meanwhile, there were no detentions during a pro-Lukashenka demonstration held outside the Kamarouski food market in Minsk.

UPD. Several persons detained during the protests have been sentenced today to short terms in prison and fines. At least three protesters were sentenced to 8 to 10 days of detention for attending a demonstration on Independence Square last evening. The outcome of five more trials is yet unknown.

Aliaksandr Laurynovich, chairman of the strike committee of the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant, was sentenced to 10 days of administrative detention, according to his lawyer. The activist was detained when campaigning for a strike at his enterprise on August 23.

Four protesters were fined in Hrodna. The penalties range between 135 and 675 rubles


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