MINSK — Several thousand pensioners in Belarus marched for an eighth-straight week in Minsk on November 23 to protest state violence against the country’s pro-democracy movement.
Black-clad security forces wearing balaclavas blocked the columns of elderly shouting “Freedom for political prisoners!” and “Murderers!” from completing the regular Monday march, preventing them from entering central Independence Avenue.
At least six people were detained, the Vyasna human rights center reported, including two elderly women in their 70s who were later released.
Minor scuffles were reported, with witnesses saying security forces pushed several of the elderly onto the asphalt.
The so-called March of Wisdom has drawn thousands of pensioners in recent weeks joining calls for the resignation of Alyaksandr Lukashenka following August’s disputed presidential election that extended the strongman’s rule.
The opposition says the vote was rigged and the West refuses to accept the outcome, slapping sanctions on Lukashenka and other top officials.
Several protesters have been killed and thousands of people arrested in a widening crackdown that has included credible reports of torture.
Most of the country’s opposition leaders have been arrested or forced to leave the country.
With reporting by Tut.by