Thousands attend Belarus protester's funeral

More protests in Belarus on Friday (November 20) as thousands of people raised their arms in the air, held flowers aloft and broke into chants outside a church in Minsk at the funeral of a fellow demonstrator.

The death of 31-year-old Roman Bondarenko has become a flashpoint in months-long mass protests against President Alexander Lukashenko.

Witnesses said Bondarenko was detained after fight broke out in a playground over the removal of red-and-white ribbons representing the protest movement.

He died in hospital last week after what protesters say was a severe beating by security forces.

But interior ministry has denied responsibility, and the government has said Bondarenko was drunk and involved in an altercation with civilians.

Meanwhile, Minsk had further sanctions handed down by the European Union on Thursday who also condemned the death.

Thousands broke into applause as the coffin was carried out of the church. Mourners, some in tears, gathered at the burial site.

Chants of "long live Belarus" also rang out by the graveside.