Police arrested more than 500 protesters in Belarus on Sunday during the 90th consecutive day of demonstrations demanding the resignation of the nation’s president.
The human rights organization Viasna reported 548 people were arrested during Sunday’s protests, including former Miss Belarus Olga Khizhinkova, The Associated Press reported. The Belarusian Association of Journalists reported at least nine journalists were arrested.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Belarus capital Minsk as police swung clubs and attempted to block off the center of the city with armored vehicles and riot officers.
The demonstrations against President Alexander Lukashenko began after he was awarded a sixth term after the Aug. 9 election, which observers and opposition figures allege was manipulated.
Lukashenko has been in power since 1994 and claims that Western countries have instigated the current unrest in Belarus.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskayac, Lukashenko’s main competitor in the election, fled to Lithuania after the election. She said Sunday that she hoped U.S. President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenMary Trump celebrates Biden-Harris victory: ‘To America. Thanks, guys’ Biden gives shoutout to Black Americans in victory speech: ‘You always have my back, and I’ll have yours’ Biden vows to heal divided nation MORE would press the current president of Belarus.
“Joe Biden has spoken out more than once and taken a firm position of support for the Belarusian people,” she said, according to the AP.
“We have stood against lawlessness and violence for 90 days already,” she added. “In these 90 days, Belarusians made the regime understand that they have lost legitimacy and authority.”