On Sunday, November 8, more than a thousand people were detained at peaceful protests in Belarus.
According to the human rights center Viasna, among 1,023 detainees are journalists, athletes, actors, scientists and cultural figures.
Protesters were detained not only in Minsk, but also in Gomel, Bobruisk, Vitebsk and Grodno.
Most of them were taken to district police stations. Some were transferred to the pre-trial detention center, some were released.
Yesterday, the media reported on the traditional Sunday Internet outages. Several subway stations in Minsk were also closed. Eyewitnesses said that they heard shots and the police also used stun grenades against the protesters.
During the protest on November 8, well-known Belarusian athletes were also detained. Among them the silver medalist of the 2008 Olympic Games in the decathlon Andrey Kravchenko and the champion of Belarus in kickboxing and Thai boxing Ivan Ganin.
In addition, the human rights center Viasna wrote about the detention of the winner of the Miss Belarus 2008 contest and former press secretary of Brest Dynamo soccer team Olga Serejnikova.
On November 7, 33 medics were detained in Minsk.
Mass protests have been going on in Belarus for almost 3 months after the presidential elections. Speeches of citizens who defend their votes and are convinced of falsification of the voting results are suppressed by riot police and special forces. Security forces repeatedly showed unprecedented brutality against the protesters.
In October, the European Union imposed sanctions against 40 officials from Belarus for rigging elections and repression against protesters. Among them are the Interior Minister of Belarus and his deputies, as well as all the members of the Central Election Commission. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe called on the Belarusian authorities to hold new presidential elections in accordance with international standards.