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Over 130 protesters detained in Minsk, human rights activists say

According to Vesna human rights center unregistered by the Justice Ministry the security forces detained one person in Molodechno, more than 10 - in Brest, six - in Grodno

MINSK, January 24. /TASS/. Belarusian security forces detained over 130 people during Saturday's unauthorized protests in Minsk and more detentions were carried out in the other cities, Vesna human rights center unregistered by the Justice Ministry said on Sunday.

"On January 23, "Solidarity Chains" rallies were held in Belarus. There were some surgical detentions of peaceful demonstrators in Minsk," according to the human rights activists.

The list includes 131 names of those held in the Belarusian capital. In addition, some activists of the Food Instead of Bombs movement were arrested in Minsk’s St. Michael's Square as they were distributing food to those in need. According to human rights activists, the security forces detained one person in Molodechno, more than 10 - in Brest, six - in Grodno.

On Saturday, the Minsk police confirmed the detention of 100 people who had taken part in "short-term and barely attended unauthorized events."

Protesters gathered in yards on Saturday morning and marched through their districts in small groups. Social networks reported about some local events under white-red-white symbols in several neighborhoods as well as in the Belarusian capital’s center.

Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election, when the 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, and refused to recognize the election’s outcome. In the first days, the protests were the most massive and resulted in clashes with the country’s security forces. By the end of 2020, Tikhanovskaya stated that the protests had morphed into district marches, flash mobs and performances.