MINSK, November 20. /TASS/. Belarus’ human rights center Vesna, unregistered by the authorities, said on Friday that a total of 1,325 administrative decisions to arrest protesters had been made since early November and 520 people had been fined for participation in protest demonstrations.
On November 1-18, a total of 1,325 administrative arrest orders were issued in Belarus and 520 people were fined to a total of $114,000. Protest demonstrators were punished with a total of 16,559 days of arrest, 46 years all in all, the center said on its website.
In most cases the authorities used such articles of the Administrative Code as massive unrest and organization or active participation in collective actions that crudely violate public order. Less frequently protesters were accused of disobedience to legitimate orders from officials on duty.
As of early November Belarusian human rights activists said that a total of 16,000 had been detained in the country since the beginning of the election campaign.
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.
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.
In the capital Minsk and other cities residents of some neighborhoods stage protest flash mobs and improvised outdoor shows. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.