Belarus: Protests and arrests following elections

Belarus, rocked by anti-government protest, following the presidential elections, for seven weeks now. Officials detain 500 citizens for the oppositional rally, leaving the city in tatters.

The Protest and the Elections of Belarus

Belarus, the capital of Minsk, is facing brutal protest for opposing the Presidential Elections this year. Alexander Lukashenko has been the president in power for over 26 years. He has been yielding a hard reign over the opposition and media in succession.

Consequently, in opposition to this decades-long tyranny, the Belarusian streets saw an upheaval of protests and daily rallies throughout the city.

Though, last weekend witnessed a surge in numbers of protesting citizens. The largest ones have drawn up to about 200,000 people rallying in a group. About 100,000 protestors marched in the Belarusian capital of Minsk on Sunday alone. Their sole demand is the resignation of Lukashenko from his presidential seat.

Casualties and detainments

Around 500 protestors have been detained following the weekend rallies for the alleged rigged elections. The Interior Ministry says, “150 protesters were detained on Saturday and over 350 more on Sunday when anti-government protests spanned 22 cities.”

Viasana human rights group claims that “the clampdown on the protesters this weekend wasn’t as violent as before.” The head, Ales Bialiatski, further adds, “The authorities’ scare tactics don’t work anymore.”

The protest was initiated from August 9 when hundreds of citizens took the streets after the Presidential Elections took place. Claiming his 6th term in office, Lukashenko has said to won the elections with an 80% margin.

After Belarusians, what the World says

The world leaders are not far behind in condemning the elections as well. Many European countries have refused to accept Lukashenko as the legitimate leader, following his unexpected and hasty inauguration.

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, will be meeting with the exiled opposition leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, this week.

The Brutality of the Protest

Despite the huge numbers in which the Belarusians took to the streets, the Police and authorities tightened their restraints as well. During the initial days of ongoing protest, the Police used tear gases, truncheons, and rubber bullets to dissipate the crowd.

As for the casualties, the city saw the death of a few protesters, injuries of, and detainment of nearly 7,000 citizens. Amid international outrage over the violent suppression of the protests, Belarusian authorities switched to prosecuting top activists.

Owing to a criminal probe by the Belarusian authorities, the coordination council reported the arrest of many activists and members. On Monday, Maxim Znak, another council member who was jailed earlier this month and has been on hunger strike since September 18. Recently, his health took a sharp turn for the worse.

Image courtesy of Cosmic_Design/Shutterstock

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