More than 100 protesters arrested in Belarus

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Police in the capital of Belarus arrested more than 100 people who assembled for a protest march on Saturday to call for the resignation of the country’s authoritarian president.

The planned event in Minsk indicated that supporters of the political opposition seek to revive the wave of mass protests that gripped Belarus for months last year but were dormant during the winter.

During the first sizable anti-government protests of 2021, more than 200 people were detained Thursday.

Five journalists were among those arrested.

Four were later released, but it was not clear if the fifth, the editor of the popular newspaper Nasha Niva, faced charges.

Some journalists arrested while covering last year’s protests were sentenced to two years in prison.

Protests broke out in August after a disputed election that gave President Alexander Lukashenko a sixth term in office. Lukashenko, who has been characterised as Europe’s last dictator, has strongly repressed opposition and independent news media during 26 years in power.

Police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest in Minsk. PHOTO: AP