Freedom Day: Rally in Minsk dispersed, hundreds arrested

A rally against the infamous ‘parasite’ decree started today in Minsk at 14:00. There was also planned a celebration of the Freedom Day — unofficial holiday on account of the foundation of the first Belarusian nation-state — the Belarusian People’s Republic (the Third Statutory Charter passed on 25 March 1918).

(UPD) The riot police have dispersed the protesters; hundreds have reportedly been arrested.

The previous rally against the ‘parasite’ decree was held in Minsk on March 15.

The office of the human rights center “Viasna” is being searched.

Trains first line of Minsk metro do not stop on the stations between Yakub Kolas Square and Chalyuskintsau Park.

The police stop cars at the entrance to Minsk. They have lists of unwanted person.

Journalists Volha Chaychyts and Andrei Kozel have been detained by police in Vitsebsk.

They were not given explanations about the grounds for detention. The journalists were detained with force – they were put into a car by the uniform police.


Specially equipped Ford pickup trucks detected in Minsk streets. Such trucks are generally used against barricades.


A number of journalists were detained during the rally in Minsk (list is incomplete, detentions continue):

Lyubou Luniova (Belsat)

Alyaksandr Barazenka

Zakhar Shcharbakou

Zmitser Karenka

Iryna Kozlik

Iryna Arakhouskaya and Artsyom Harbatsevich (Nasha Niva)

Volha Bykouskaya (taken to Pershamaiski region police station)

Henad Barbarych (radio “Racja”)

Henadz Sharypkin (Radio France Internationale, the MFA accreditation, released after verification of documents)

Hanna Badzyaka

“Novy Chas” journalist Uladislau Rubanau could not get to the Academy of Sciences. Riot police have asked Rubanau to present “accreditation” – his journalistic ID and editorial assignment did not satisfy the police. They did not allow the journalist to pass.

3G and 4G networks were turned off in the Minsk city center to prevent journalists from streaming live feeds.


After the detention, Belsat cameraman Alyaksandr Barazenka made in a live broadcast from the paddy wagon.

15:40 People are at a loss. They want to go in the direction of the Kastrychnitskaya square, but roadblocks are everywhere.

15:50 Economic journalist Stas Ivashkevich detained.

15:59 “People are confused”. Our Hanna Azemsha has confirmed the detention of the cameraman Alyaksandr Barazenka, photographer and journalist Uladzimir Hrydzin, TUT.BY journalist Artsyom Shraibman.

16:02 Independence Avenue and three metro stations blocked.

16:10 Ales Barazenka detained, broadcasting from cell.

16:15 Public transportion again running on Independence Avenue. Hanna Azemsha broadcasting from the area of ​​the Yanka Kupala Park.

At 16:25, in a live broadcast, Katsyaryna Andreyeva said that Belsat TV journalists (apart from Alyaksandr Barazenka) were released from Zavadzki district police department in Minsk. Five minutes later, Katsyaryna Andreyeva and camerawoman Volha Davydava were detained by the police. Katsyaryna was hit in the stomach.

16:30 There are many police buses near Kastrychnitskaya Square.

17:45 According to human rights defenders, policemen are threatening detainees to jail them if they fail to sign protocols drawn upon them.