MINSK, Belarus, March 25 (UPI) -- Thousands in Belarus are protesting the recent disputed election and Friday's arrest and alleged abuse of hundreds of peaceful protesters.
The arrests came after five days of street demonstrations following an election international monitors and groups opposed to President Alexander Lukashenko said was rigged.
The BBC reports riot police prevented protestors from entering October Square in downtown Minsk Saturday and lined side streets. Opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich said a planned rally would take place.
It is also the anniversary of the 1918 declaration of independence of a Belarussian republic that was soon enveloped in regional dictatorships.
International leaders have called Belarus the last dictatorship left in Europe and said they will impose sanctions on the country in protest of the election.
Ally Russia has been silent and blamed the election monitor for causing civic upheaval.