Following Freedom Day arrests: Activists protest at Belarus embassy in Kyiv

On March 26, a protest rally was held by the Belarusian Centre in Ukraine and the solidarity movement Together in Kyiv.

Protest rally in Kyiv, phot. Belsat

The protesters who gathered together near the embassy were holding Belarusian white-red-white flags and red and black flags of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, posters bearing calls to free Belarusian political prisoners and the names of the detainees – Alena Talstaya, Dzyanis Urbanovich, Zmitser Dashkevich, Nina Bahinskaya and Natallya Basalyha.

Protest rally in Kyiv, phot. Belsat
Protest rally in Kyiv, phot. Belsat

On March 24-25, the police detained over a dozen persons who were about to celebrate the Freedom Day in Minsk. Musicians Lyavon Volski, Zmitser Waytsyushkevich, Ihar Varashkevich, Pavel Arakelyan, activists and politicians Syarhei Vasilkou, Mikalai Kazlou, Vital Rymasheuski, Yury Paleyka were released after the policemen drew protocols upon them. However, some of the detainees were placed in the predetention centre in Minsk.

Protest rally in Kyiv, phot. Belsat

Freedom Day (Dzień Voli) is an unofficial holiday in Belarus, which is celebrated on March 25 to commemorate the creation on that date in 1918 of the Belarusian People’s Republic (BNR). It came into existence at the end of the First World War, when Bolshevik forces left Minsk and the city was occupied by German troops. On March 25, 1918 the Provisional Government (Rada) proclaimed the independence of the BNR. After the Red Army re-entered Minsk, the Communist government replaced the Rada; its members had to emigrate. The Lukashenka regime denies Freedom Day and often prevents the opposition forces from celebrating it.

Long live Belarus! Freedom Day celebration in Minsk

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