Minsk-Thousands of demonstrators turned out in the Belarusian capital Minsk on Friday to protest the death of an artist after police arrested him earlier this week.

Lining the capital’s main thoroughfares, the protesters formed human chains, while dozens more laid flowers at the site where Roman Bondarenko, a 31-year-old former soldier, was arrested before his death.

Tens of thousands have taken part in weekly protests since strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power for more than two decades, won a landslide victory in a disputed presidential election in August.

Bondarenko died in Minsk after police arrested him following a dispute in a city square that has become a regular meeting place for the opposition. Witnesses said unrest erupted between protesters hanging red-and-white ribbons -- the colours of the opposition -- and plainclothes police who were removing them.