On 24 March, mass searches and detentions took place in Babruisk, the human rights centre Viasna reported. Some citizens were released after interrogations, but many of them are still in custody.
Among the detainees is Halina Smirnova, who previously headed the Bobruisk regional organisation of the Belarusian Trade Union of Radio-Electronic Industry Workers (REP). She has been repeatedly detained and arrested for 24 hours.
At present Smirnova is kept in a temporary detention facility under Article 108 of the Code of Criminal Procedure ("Detention on direct suspicion of committing a crime"). Details of the charges against her are unknown.
In addition, on the eve of Freedom Day, searches and detentions were conducted among social-democratic party activists in Brest and Mahiliou. The police seized equipment, party magazines and flags with party symbols.