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Human rights activists report over 1,000 detentions at protest rallies in Belarus

The majority were taken into custody in Minsk

MINSK, November 16. /TASS/. The Belarusian unregistered Vesna human rights center has updated its online list of protest rallies participants detained on Sunday in Belarus. According to the latest data, it includes over 1,000 people.

"On Sunday, November 15, new protest rallies are taking place in Belarus. Detentions began in Minsk in the area of Pushkinskaya and Pritytskogo, where peaceful demonstrators congregated. There are also reports of detentions in Novogrudok, Bobruisk, Vitebsk, Gomel, and Svetlogorsk," the statement on the center’s website said.

As of 0:17 on Monday, the list of detainees, published on the center’s website, included 1,048 people. The majority were taken into custody in Minsk, there are also reports of detained residents of Brest, Bobruisk, Vitebsk, Grodno, Novopolotsk, Mogilev and other cities in the republic.

Protest rallies were held in Belarus on Sunday to pay tribute to a 31-year-old Minsk resident Roman Bondarenko who died on November 12. The so-called "square of change" in Minsk’s Chervyakov Street became the epicenter of the protest. On November 11, people in plain clothes arrived at a meeting point of the opposition and started taking down the red and white ribbons from a fence there. According to eyewitnesses, after exchanging words with them, Bondarenko was detained and taken away. Later, the man was rushed to a hospital from Minsk’s central police station. It was said that he had been injured "in a brawl." On November 12, Bondarenko died. A spontaneous memorial was created at the site of his detention with local residents bringing flowers and lighting candles. On Sunday, hundreds of members of the security forces arrived at the site, cordoning it off and dispersing the protesters forcefully, conducting mass detentions.