Despite attempting to seal off the centre of Minsk with coils of razor wire, security forces loyal to Alexander Lukashenko were unable to stop more than 100,000 people marching through the capital in protest over the stolen election one month ago.
The independent local media outlet tut.by reported that several arrests were made on streets leading to the centre, while one would-be protester was taken away by ambulance after an attack by riot police.
Video footage on the site, possibly the only news outlet not controlled by the regime, showed women shouting “shame” at masked riot police who were detaining peaceful marchers.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who ran against Lukashenko on August 9, will travel from Vilnius to Warsaw next week. On Saturday, she said by video: “Belarusians have already changed, they have awakened and it is impossible to push them back into the former mindset.”
On Saturday, another opposition leader, Olga Kovalkova, was re-arrested after 10 days in jail and taken to the Polish border after being told she would be jailed repeatedly if she stayed in Belarus. A bus driver at the remote border crossing recognised Ms Kovalkova and took her to Warsaw.
As marchers made their way home, several were taken into custody by police snatch squads.
PHOTO: Olga Kovalkova Reuters