More than 50 arrested after mass protests in

A man in blue jeans is dragged by police on the paving in the square in the town of Grodna. People shout “What are you doing?” Others grab another man’s legs and manage to pull him out of the police grip. They throw things at the police and a man punches a policeman who has to withdraw.

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It is one of the huge amount of film clips on arrests in Belarus. One by one, group after group, day after day, people are taken away from the demonstrations to waiting minibuses and taken to the jail.

Today’s big demonstrations in Belarus are a protest against Alexander Lukashenko being secretly sworn in as president this week. The metro stations are closing, long lines of police are moving away from the central squares, large vehicles with water cannons are ready and military vehicles are visible on the streets.

Mr Lukashenko has sought help from Russia’s Vladimir Putin. EU countries have called Lukashenko illegitimate and do not recognize him, but have failed to agree on sanctions. The United States, Britain and Canada have flagged coordinated sanctions but this has not yet happened.

The French president said in a French newspaper that it was clear that Lukashenko “must go”.

On the streets of Minsk again awaits a Sunday night where crowds of people will be arrested for choosing to go out and have their say.

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