MINSK -- Police in the Belarusian capital have arrested several opposition activists as unofficial events got under way to mark Freedom Day, in remembrance of the formation of the Belarusian People's Republic (BPR) in 1918.
The anniversary is not observed in any official manner, but critics of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's administration frequently use the occasion to demonstrate implicit disagreement with his policies.
RFE/RL's Belarusi Service reports that opposition groups and movements were planning to stage a mass demonstration in downtown Minsk at 6:00 p.m. local time.
Police in Minsk detained three young activists of the opposition Belarusian Popular Front (BNF) party, who traveled to Minsk from the town of Baranavichi to take part in the demonstration.
Local police in the Belarusian city of Salihorsk officially prohibited three local activists of the Youth Front movement from traveling to Minsk.