On 15 October, following the retirees and mothers people with disabilities took to the streets of Minsk. They gathered in the center of the city to walk along the Independence Avenue to GUM. Several people were detained during the march.
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On Thursday afternoon, people with disabilities arrived with banners and flowers at the Red Church in the Independence Square. About a hundred people took part in a protest rally. Some demonstrators used wheelchairs, and many came with walking canes.
One of the banners read “Sveta is my president.” People explained that they were against violence, for fair elections and law enforcement in the country. At least two people were detained and taken into minibuses by unidentified security forces.
“Everyone understood that they would not be able to escape. If you cannot run, then you will not be able to escape. If you cannot see, then you will not see the danger. But people still came and continued to walk, despite the minibuses following them and arrests. Because they wanted to express their position, they wanted to be heard and seen,” said one of the participants in the march.
When the participant of the march walked from the square along the Independence avenue, they were chanting: “Shame! Shame!”, and “Long live Belarus! ”. During the rally, the police blocked traffic at several points of the avenue. The march ended near GUM, the protesters applauded to each other and dispersed.
Later it became known that Oleg Grablevsky, an employee of the Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, was among those detained. Grablevsky “carried out human rights observation of the march of people with disabilities,” Sergei Drozdovsky, the director of the institution, said.
He also noted that this was not the first time people with disabilities took to the streets. According to Drozdovsky, they took part in similar marches long before the events of August and after the presidential election too, imenamag.by reports.
“Many people with disabilities regularly go to Sunday marches. But they get lost in the crowd of people. So the new thing here is not that people with disabilities took to the streets. The new thing is that society noticed them. And this is very great!” he added.