Belarussian authorities announced on Friday that they had released more than 2,000 protesters who were arrested while condemning the re-election of President Lukashenko. An oppression that led the EU to consider sanctions.
Is the power giving way? The Belarussian authorities announced the release on Friday, August 14, of 2,000 protesters arrested during the rallies of recent days, while the street on the street is not weakened against the newly elected President Alexandre Loukachenko.
The move comes hours before a meeting with EU foreign ministers, who may discuss new sanctions against Belarusian leaders. Least ready for a “constructive and objective dialogue” on the events of the presidential election, Belarus’s Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, quoted by the Beita press agency, said this morning. However, the EU is not expected to take a decision in several days, but at least nine out of 27 countries are in favor of a sanction.
Hundreds of people, relatives and friends of the prisoners, gathered early on Friday morning in front of a detention center in Minsk, the Belarusian capital, with their arms loaded with food, drink and blankets handed out as they left. Some of the liberated protesters showed signs of serious miscarriage and described very harsh conditions in cramped cells.
Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Barsukov denied any wrongdoing on Thursday night and assured that all prisoners would be released in the morning.
Opponent Svetlana Tikhanuskaya calls for protests
At the same time, Svetlana Tikhanuskaya, a Belarusian opposition candidate who is now a refugee in Lithuania, urged voters to sign an online application to demand a new number of votes and an official inquiry into the vote. In a video published on YouTube on Friday, she also demands an end to the violence that has marked the protests in recent days and invites all Belarusian mayors to organize peaceful rallies this weekend.
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At least two protesters have been killed and about 6,700 people have been arrested since Sunday after the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko, with almost 80% of the vote according to official results, a poll protected by allegations of massive fraud.
Ahead of the EU summit, Russia, Belarus’s largest economic partner, expressed concern over what it presents as an attempt by external forces to destabilize Minsk. In the EU, there are some who fear an escalation of tensions.
With AFP and Reuters