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Traditional Sunday march of protest begins in central Minsk

People are marching from the Hero City Minsk monument to a detention facility in Oktestina Street

MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. Tens of thousands of people gathered in central Minsk for a traditional Sunday march of protest, the internet portal reports.

People are marching from the Hero City Minsk monument to a detention facility in Oktestina Street. The march that was announced by the opposition in social networks has been dubbed For the Freedom of Political Prisoners.

Earlier, police tried not to let people gather in the center of the city using water cannons and detaining activists, according to witnesses spoke to TASS over the phone. Police however failed to stop the protesters.

On Friday, the Belarusian foreign ministry revoked accreditation from all foreign mass media operating in Belarus.

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.