More than 100 people were arrested or detained in the latest anti-government protests throughout Minsk on Sunday, November 29. Protesters in Minsk reportedly gathered at more than 20 sites throughout the city in an attempt to dilute the response of security forces, but they were met by a large police presence. Riot police were deployed and shut metro stations, blocked mobile phone coverage, and used stun grenades in attempts to disperse the crowds.
Further protests over the controversial re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko are likely over the near term. A heightened security presence and associated disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of protest sites. Clashes between security personnel and protesters cannot be ruled out.
Protests have been taking place throughout Belarus since Lukashenko was declared the winner of the country's August 9 presidential election in a result which opposition groups denounced as fraudulent. The large-scale protests and increased political tensions have seen security forces blocking access to a number of cities as clashes with protesters were reported. Security forces have deployed tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, batons, and stun grenades in attempts to disperse crowds.
Those scheduled to travel to Belarus should monitor developments regarding the increased border restrictions and review their travel itineraries accordingly. Travelers in the country should avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and refrain from discussing politically sensitive topics in public or on social media.
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