One of the suspects is believed to have taken part in the beating of a 14-year-old boy in the city centre ahead of the event. Others reportedly attempted to block the route of the march.
Around 800 people gathered for the city’s first march supporting the LGBT community, according to police statistics. Białystok authorities put the figure at 1,000.
Counterdemonstrators attempted to disrupt the event, with hundreds of them gathered along the entire route of the march. Cordoned off by the police, they tried to hinder the passage of the demonstrators several times. Stones, eggs, firecrackers and bottles were flung at march participants, according to reports.
So far police have detained and charged 25 people, Deputy Interior Minister Jarosław Zieliński tweeted on Sunday.
Several hundred policemen from Białystok and other cities, aided by the Border Guard, provided security during the event. A helicopter hovered above the crowds and monitored adjacent streets and blocks.
Police spokesman Tomasz Krupa said the situation was very tense. He added that apart from physical force, police officers used flash-bang grenades and tear gas.
Interior Minister Elżbieta Witek tweeted that there was no permission for hooliganism, and that “every person breaking the law or obstructing police work must take into account the consequences of their actions.”
Ombudsman Adam Bodnar said in the social media that he hoped the police, with the support of the Interior Ministry, would quickly identify the perpetrators of the attack.
Source: IAR, PAP