First moments of freedom Protesters in custody in Minsk were released en masse last night
Around 10:30 p.m. local time on August 13, the detention center on Akrescina Street in Minsk opened its doors to release a group of detainees — people who had been arrested during this week’s ongoing protests. The opposition demonstrations began on August 9, the final day of voting in the contested Belarusian presidential elections. Law enforcement officers have responded by violently dispersing and arresting demonstrators — those who were sent to Akrescina Street were people being held for 72 hours, as well as those placed under administrative arrest. Hundreds of people were gathered outside of the detention center to meet the newly released. Those who came out of the prison had visible injuries from beatings. But when the Belarusian Interior Ministry’s Deputy Head Alexander Barsukov (Alyaksandr Barsukou) came to the detention center that same night, he claimed that there hadn’t been any abuse. He also added that all of the detainees would be released on the morning of August 14. According to police officials, 6,700 people have been arrested across the country during the protests so far. How many people were in custody at Minsk’s Akrescina Street detention center and whether or not all of them have been freed remains unknown.