MINSK, August 19. /TASS/. Two people were detained during an unauthorized mass rally on Wednesday morning near the entrance to the Minsk Tractor Works, Belarusian Interior Ministry Spokeswoman Olga Chemodanova reported on her Telegram channel.
"This morning, on August 19, an unauthorized mass event was held near the entrance to the Minsk Tractor Works. Its participants were preventing the plant workers from entering their workplace. <...> In order to intercept the illegal actions, the police pushed back the crowd and detained the two most active participants of the event," the statement reads.
It is also noted that one of the detainees is an unemployed resident of Volkovysk (a town in the Grodno Region of Belarus). The administrative procedure has been started against the detainees due to the violations of the order of organization or conduct of mass events.
Earlier on Wednesday one of the strike coordinators Sergei Dylevsky told TASS that several workers who earlier took an unpaid leave of absence were detained near the front gate of the enterprise where they came to support their colleagues on strike. According to eyewitnesses, among those who came to support the strike were not only the workers on leave but also Minsk residents, some of whom were also detained. The plant’s press service reported that the enterprise is functioning and refused to comment on the events beyond its gate.
In Belarus, where the presidential election was held on August 9, mass protests of those disagreeing with the election results have been continuing for over a week. In the early days the rallies were accompanied by clashes between protesters and law enforcement forces. According to the republic’s Interior Ministry, over 6,000 people were detained while dozens of policemen and protesters were injured. According to the final results of the Central Election Commission, incumbent president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko got 80.1% of the vote. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya who was considered his main opponent, came second with 10.12% and later refused to recognize the election results. To date, a number of large enterprises have been holding rallies demanding a new election and a probe into the actions of the security forces, as incited by the opposition.