On the 99th day of protests, about a thousand people were detained in Minsk
After the appointment of a new Minister of Internal Affairs three weeks ago, riot police have become tougher in breaking up protests. Every Sunday since August 9, people try to get together, and this was the third time that the actions of the security forces did not allow them to do this. For three months the protesters gathered and marched in Minsk in a column of thousands, and now the riot police dispersed and detained people on their way to the gathering place.
In addition, the mobile Internet was turned off early in the morning and returned only eight hours later, and the number of closed subway stations was the maximum since the beginning of the protests. The riot police threw stun grenades and fired rubber bullets at people, preventing them from gathering. As a result, more than 900 people were detained in Minsk.
The protesters were to march from the square at the Pushkinskaya subway station, where the first protester, Alexander Taraikovsky, was killed on August 10. The riot police did not allow people to gather, there were several dispersals in the square and along the route of the march.
The endpoint of the march on Sunday was the Courtyard of Change. Roman Bondarenko, who was killed last week, lived in one of the houses in this courtyard, and residents of the houses created a spontaneous memorial there. On the day of his death and the next day, residents of the capital came to the memorial from all over the city, bringing flowers, candles and posters.
Despite the actions of the security forces, many managed to get to the memorial in memory of Bondarenko. However, the riot police dispersed the people with stun grenades. As a result, several hundred people remained in the courtyard, joining together to peacefully defend the memorial. The security forces took thousands of riot police there, surrounded the courtyard, and everyone who remained at the memorial was detained. Later, the security forces completely destroyed the memorial; nothing remained in the courtyard of the incident. Until the late night, riot police were searching for the protesters in the apartments of the houses adjacent to the Courtyard of Change.
Since August 9, there have been over 25.8 thousand arrests at protests in the country
The “People’s Anti-Crisis Management” project, headed by Pavel Latushko, forner belarusian ambassador to France, said that it has internal reports of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus. According to these documents, from August 9 to November 3, over 25.8 thousand people were detained in the country at the protests.
Also, 4 thousand statements of violence by security forces were filed with law enforcement agencies. Not a single criminal case has been opened on these appeals.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Investigative Committee and other authorities haven’t commented on this statement yet.
Pavel Latushko was the head of the Kupala Drama Theater in Minsk until he was fired after speaking out against the violence of the security forces. Following him, almost every employee of the theater quit. Later Latushko became a member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council for the Transfer of Power, which was created on the initiative of presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. When the Coordination Council was accused of attempting to seize power, Latushko had to leave the country to avoid arrest.
According to the founders of the People’s Anti-Crisis Administration, this body should be the interim government of Belarus. However, it acts outside the country and has no real leverage.
Official mortality from COVID-19 in Belarus reaches May peaks
The Ministry of Health reports that as of November 15, 1,046 patients diagnosed with coronavirus have died in the country. 7 deaths were recorded over the last day. Earlier, the Ministry announced the same daily death rate in Belarus only in May. It’s been announced lower than that throughout the pandemic.
Also, 1,315 new cases of coronavirus infection were registered last day. Thus, the total number of confirmed positive tests in the country since the beginning of the epidemic has reached 114,185 cases.
95,843 patients (+1506), who had previously been diagnosed with COVID-19, overcame the disease and were discharged from hospitals.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, the laboratories of the Ministry of Health have conducted 2,882,743 tests (+34,887).
Meanwhile, the only private center where a paid PCR test for coronavirus infection could be done in Minsk is temporarily suspending this service. It reports that testing will end from Monday, “for technical reasons.” Details have not yet been reported by the center.
Thus, for the time being, such tests can only be done for a fee in a few state medical institutions of the capital on weekdays. Registration for the test needs to be done in advance because the service is in demand. In particular, paid tests are often done for travelling abroad.