At least 1,000 people detained in Belarus in a single day following protester’s death
According to Belarus human rights watchdog Viasna, over 1,000 protestors were detained across the country amid backlash over the death of Roman Bondarenko, a painter, veteran, and anti-government protestor. The demonstrations were sparked when Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory in the August presidential elections, which protestors claim were rigged in his favor. This represents the largest number of detentions in a single day since the commencement of the protests. Viasna reports that they estimate that 25,000 Belarusians have been arrested in connection to the demonstrations since August.
This past Sunday marked the fourteenth week in a row in which there were widespread protests demanding that Lukashenko resign. Lukashenko has ruled over Belarus for 26 consecutive years. Bondarenko’s death at a Minsk hospital following severe beatings from security forces has sparked renewed outrage in the demonstrators, who state it was an unnecessary use of violence that cost the young man, 31, his life.