Belarussian authorities announced on Wednesday the death of a protester, who had been arrested for demonstrating against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko. Minsk city center has also been closed.
Oppression continues in Belarus. Authorities on Wednesday, August 12, announced the death of a protester arrested during a collaboration against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko. This is the second death recorded since the start of this violently repressed protest movement.
The commission of inquiry, a powerful investigative body, said a 25-year-old man died at a hospital in Gomel (south), after being arrested on Sunday, during an “unauthorized demonstration”. According to this source, which does not specify the exact date of death, his health suddenly deteriorated while he was in prison.
The collisions also left a dead body in Minsk and police said they opened fire with live ammunition in Brest (southwest) and left one injured.
The suspended capital
In the capital’s hypercenter, metro stations were closed on Wednesday night and traffic was completely banned. Many police officers were also placed on several main streets.
Near the Ouroutché station, northeast of Minsk, protesters who formed a human chain of police were blown up and beaten, amid screams, according to an AFP journalist.
Dozens of women have also formed human chains in other parts of the capital to condemn police repression aimed at protests against the August 9 re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, with power for 26 years.
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“You’re also someone’s son!” Proclaimed placards are carried by about fifty protesters, dressed in white, on Surganov Street, a usually very busy artery in the capital, this evening almost empty.
Almost 6,000 arrests
During the three previous protests, security forces arrested about 6,000 people across the country, but it is not known how many are still being held.
Since Sunday evening, police have been using stun grenades and rubber bullets against protesters and at least 250 wounded have been hospitalized. Internet access has also been severely disrupted.
Many scenes with demonstration teams were broadcast on social networks, while President Lukashenko called the protesters “unemployed with a criminal past.”
Belarus’s state television on Wednesday published a report showing six suspected young protesters, handcuffs and swollen faces, and told the camera that they “did not want to revolutionize.”
Macron worried about the situation
Neighboring countries in Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland on Wednesday unveiled a plan to set up a “national council” bringing together representatives of the Belarusian government and civil society under sanctions from Brussels.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his “very great concern”. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also reject the breakdown.
The Belarussian Interior Ministry estimated that the mobilization of protesters was now down.
President Lukashenko’s rival, opponent Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, claimed victory before leaving Belarus for Lithuania on Monday night. A deviation under the authorities’ threat according to his supporters.
According to the Helsinki Committee of Belarus, a non-governmental organization on human rights, there had never been any “violence” in the country.
More than 80% of the votes
According to the official results of the presidential election, Alexander Lukashenko received more than 80% of the votes, an imaginative score, says his deterrent, who estimates on the contrary that Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, credited with 10% of the votes, won.
The latter has not spoken since her video on Tuesday announced her hasty departure to Lithuania. According to her supporters, she suffered threats when she was held for hours by security forces on Monday.
Alexander Lukashenko, 65, has never allowed any opposition to take action. The previously large wave of protests in 2010 had also been severely suppressed.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa, a 37-year-old political novice, mobilized tens of thousands of people in a matter of weeks, a political joy that Belarus had never known.
The stay-at-home mom replaced her husband Sergei, a prominent video blogger, after her arrest in May as he grew in popularity.