• By The Financial District


Security forces in Belarus cracked down on demonstrators on Sunday during widespread protests against embattled authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.

Videos circulated on the Telegram messaging platform - which is used to coordinate demonstrations - showed people in Minsk running away from hooded security forces on Sunday, while others showed protesters being taken away and beaten by police. More than 130 people had been arrested, according to a list of names published by human rights organisation Viasna.

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Mass arrests are a regular feature of the Sunday protests that have been taking place since mid-August. A week ago, more than 300 people were arrested. The latest weekly demonstration saw thousands gathering first in their neighborhoods and then forming larger groups.

Protesters, also marching in other cities across the country, demanded the resignation of Lukashenko, who has been in power for more than 26 years, tolerating little dissent. "This Sunday is the 18th Sunday in a row on which the people showed that they are ready to continue defending their rights," civil rights activist Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said. Tikhanovskaya, 38, fled to neighboring Lithuania after officially placing second in a disputed presidential election that the galvanized opposition claims was rigged, in favor of long-time Lukashenko.