Police In Belarusian City Of Brest Use Tear Gas Against Illegal Protesters - Authorities

MINSK (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th September, 2020) Law enforcement officers in the Belarusian city of Brest have used tear gas against opposition protesters who were taking part in an unsanctioned rally on Sunday, Olga Chemodanova, spokeswoman for the Belarusian Interior Ministry, told Sputnik.

Earlier in the day, a Belarusian opposition Telegram channel published a video from Brest, claiming to show security forces personnel moving towards a group of protesters. One officer appears to pull out an object resembling a can before spraying it in the face of protesters as arrests were made.

"We can confirm that in Brest, law enforcement officers used tear gas to suppress the illegal activities of protesters. Some citizens were detained and now an investigation is underway. These people all violated laws concerning mass events and they did not obey the lawful demands of the police," the spokeswoman said.

Chemodanova, who said earlier in the day that at least 10 people have been detained in Minsk so far on Sunday, could not confirm the exact number of people across the country who have been arrested during the latest day of public unrest.

The Interior Ministry spokeswoman was also unable to confirm whether riot police officers in Brest fired warning shots in the air to disperse protesters, after an opposition Telegram channel published a video appearing to show demonstrators fleeing after a sound similar to a pump-action shotgun is heard.

Opposition protests have been held regularly in Minsk and other Belarusian cities following the August 9 presidential election, which resulted in Alexander Lukashenko winning by a landslide to secure a sixth term in office. The country's opposition leaders have refused to recognize the results of the vote.