Over 340 people detained during weekend protests in Belarus

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Minsk [Belarus], December 7   More than 340 people were detained in Belarus on Sunday for violating the law on mass gatherings, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus told reporters.
“Yesterday, a total of 344 people were detained and placed in detention facilities, until the court hearing, for violating the legislation on mass events,” the press service of the ministry of internal affairs said on Monday.
Some of the detainees, the press service noted, have been previously prosecuted for their participation in unauthorized protests.
The ministry added that despite some Telegram channels broadcasting pictures of the “massive nature” of the protests, the number of the participants and protests has actually decreased significantly.
The press service clarified that the ministry of internal affairs has taken the necessary measures to maintain order in the country and ensure public safety in places where unauthorized events are held.
Protests in Belarus, triggered by incumbent Alexander Lukashenko’s victory in a presidential election, which the opposition considers to have been rigged, have been ongoing since mid-August. The opposition and its supporters believe that Tikhanovskaya was the true winner. Many Western countries have refused to recognize Lukashenko as legitimate president and imposed targeted sanctions against Belarusian officials, citing alleged election fraud and violence against protesters.
The Belarusian authorities have repeatedly said that anti-government demonstrations in the republic were being coordinated from abroad.

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