MINSK – Several hundred opposition activists have marched in Minsk amid a heavy police presence in the city to mark the "Day of Freedom."
The event on March 24 commemorates the 95th anniversary of the establishment of an independent state of Belarus in March 1918.
The rally was organized by several opposition groups, including the Movement for Freedom, the United Citizens Party, and the Belarus Popular Front.
Protesters carried historic white-and-red Belarusian flags, which were banned after a referendum in 1995 that allowed authorities to create new national symbols, including a new flag.
Some protesters carried portraits of political prisoners and demanded their release from prison.
Belarusian authorities had approved the rally but said participants should not carry the old Belarusian flag.
RFE/RL’s Belarus Service reports that at least eight activists were arrested.