MOSCOW (Reuters) – Authorities in Belarus detained around 100 protesters on Sunday during a weekly anti-government march in Minsk, an Interior Ministry representative said in a statement.
Belarus, a country of 9.5 million, which Russia sees as a security buffer against NATO, has been rocked by mass protests since an Aug. 9 presidential election that veteran President Alexander Lukashenko said he won. His opponents say the vote was rigged and have been demanding his resignation.
Instead of coming together in one big march, as in the first months of the protests, demonstrators have increasingly adopted a different tactic, participating in multiple small-scale marches across the capital that start at staggered times throughout the day.
More than 30,000 people have been detained in Belarus since the start of the protests in August, according to opposition leaders.
Two female journalists were among those detained on Sunday, the Belarusian Association of Journalists said.
Lukashenko has been in power for 26 years. The European Union imposed travel bans and asset freezes on almost 50 Belarusian officials in protest over the election, which the West says was rigged, and over Lukashenko’s crackdown on opponents.
(Reporting by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Hugh Lawson)