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Over 400 people detained at Sunday’s rallies in Belarus

Some 266 people were held in Minsk

MINSK, September 21. /TASS/. Some 442 people were detained on Sunday for violating the law on mass events in Belarus, including 266 of them in Minsk, the Belarusian Interior Ministry said on Monday.

"A total of 442 citizens were detained yesterday for violating the law on mass events," the ministry said on its Telegram channel. Some 266 people were held in Minsk and 76 people in six cities in the Grodno Region.

The Interior Ministry noted that 330 people had been placed in pre-trial detention centers until the hearing of cases on administrative offences in court.

Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania.

After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.