The rally of solidarity with political prisoners and families of abducted oppositionists was held on October Square in Minsk on November 16. Policemen were not hindering its holding, however there were paddy wagons behind the Palace of Republic.
Among the participants of the rally were leaders of the civil campaign "European Belarus" Zmitser Bandarenka, Zmitser Barodka, Yauhen Afnagel, Pavel Yukhnevich, the chairman of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka, "Young Front" leaders Mikalai Dzemidzenka, Nasta Palazhanka, former chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front party Lyavon Barshcheuski, director of the Free Theatre Natalia Kolyada, a well-known artist Ales Pushkin, "Razam" committee chairman Vyachaslau Siuchyk, a co-chairman of the organising committee of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party Vital Rymasheuski, activists of pro-democracy organisations and Minsk dwellers. More than 40 persons gathered on the square.
Before the rally activists of "European Belarus" made a firework right in the centre of October Square. Rockets were flying high in the sky while people of the square were chanting "Long live Belarus!" and "Freedom to political prisoners!"
For 40 minutes demonstrators were standing on the square with portraits of political prisoners Artsyom Dubski, Mikalai Autukhovich, Uladzimir Asipenka, disappeared oppositionists Viktar Hanchar, Anatol Krasouski, Yury Zakharanka and Zmitser Zavadski, a poster "We Remember" and white-red-white flags.
Policemen were not hindering the peaceful rally, which was unusual. They were just making video recording of the events and observed the rally. However, paddy wagons and police buses packed with riot policemen were standing behind the Palace of Republic.
We remind that all the previous rallies of solidarity on October Square were brutally disbanded by riot policemen, their participants beaten up and arrested. The peaceful course of this rally according to its participants, is related to the fact that the issue of extending visa sanctions of the EU against Belarusian officials was studied in Brussels.