July 14, rallies were held in Belarus in protest against the refusal to register opposition candidates Viktor Babariko and Valeriy Tsepkalo as participants in the presidential election. In total, 215 people were detained, as TUT.BY news agency reports.
Protests were held in Minsk, Brest, Gomel, Grodno, Mogilev. They started everywhere around 19:00 and mainly took place in the center of cities, but, for example, in Minsk people gathered on the outskirts.
Participants lined up in a "chain of solidarity", passing cars honked, people, clapped their hands in response. The actions were accompanied by detentions with the use of force, and in some places by clashes with the police.
According to human rights activists, over 150 people were detained in Minsk alone in the evening of July 14, and as of 01:30 am on July 15; at least 215 detainees were reported across the country.
The detentions began almost immediately after the start of the protests. Most of the protesters were detained in Minsk in the area of the Victory Square, near the circus, in Nemiga. At the same time, 11 people were detained in Brest, ten in Gomel, while in Grodno and Mogilev no detentions were observed.
Around 9 pm, a tough clash of protesters with the police took place in the capital of Belarus on Independence Avenue in front of Gorky Park. Protesters shouted "Police with the people!" and "Shame!".
“People are being detained very harshly - when someone tries to run away, they hook him under his knees, the person falls on the ground. They can strike with an elbow in the face, wring their hands,” the correspondent said.
Journalists were also detained, but they were released after checking documents.
It is impossible to name the exact number of participants because there was no single gathering point and people did not gather in large groups. As soon as detentions began in one place, the protesters dispersed, and then gathered in another place. The cyclists also joined the protests.
About 70 people gathered in Brest, about 50 gathered in Gomel, about 200 in Grodno, and several dozens more in Mogilev.
Traffic policemen blocked some sections of roads, six metro stations were closed in Minsk. During the dark, for some time, street lighting was turned off in some areas.