Left Menu
Development News Edition

Belarus protesters march in Minsk despite government warning

Video footage shown by local media outlet TUT.BY showed women shouting "shame" at masked members of the security forces who dragged people away into detention. Lukashenko has been in power since 1994 and, buoyed by a show of support from traditional ally Russia, has rejected calls for new elections from Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, his main opponent who fled into exile two days after the vote.

Reuters | Minsk | Updated: 06-09-2020 20:12 IST | Created: 06-09-2020 19:58 IST
Belarus protesters march in Minsk despite government warning
Representative Image Image Credit: Flickr

Tens of thousands of people marched through Minsk on Sunday calling on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to step down, in mass demonstrations that showed no sign of abating nearly a month after an election his opponents say was rigged. Columns of protesters defied a government warning to march in front of soldiers and military vehicles. They waved red-and-white opposition flags and shouted "go away!" and "you're a rat!".

The human rights group Spring-96 said at least 70 people were arrested. Russia's Interfax news agency reported that several people were injured when police broke up a protest outside a state-run tractor factory. Video footage shown by local media outlet TUT.BY showed women shouting "shame" at masked members of the security forces who dragged people away into detention.

Lukashenko has been in power since 1994 and, buoyed by a show of support from traditional ally Russia, has rejected calls for new elections from Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, his main opponent who fled into exile two days after the vote. Demonstrations have carried on throughout the four weeks since the election, gaining in size on the weekends and drawing tens of thousands of people each Sunday.

The interior ministry said in a statement that 91 protesters had been detained on Saturday, and said it would beef up security and take "take all necessary measures to suppress such actions and prevent violations of public order" on Sunday. Tsikhanouskaya, who will travel to Warsaw to meet the Polish prime minister next week, said in a video address on Saturday that the momentum of the protests was irreversible.

"Belarusians have already changed, they have awakened and it is impossible to push them back into the former mindset." Western countries have had to balance their sympathy with a swelling Belarusian pro-democracy movement against a desire not to provoke Russia into a military intervention. The crisis has tested European resolve at a moment when countries are also weighing how to respond to the suspected poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, now being treated in Germany.

In an interview published in the Financial Times on Sunday, Lithuania's foreign minister urged the European Union to impose sanctions on Belarus and counter Russia's influence or risk undermining the credibility of its foreign policy. "Sometimes we react too late and our measures are fragmented and aren't making any impression on society or the people in power," Linas Linkevicius said.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have imposed travel bans on Lukashenko and 29 other Belarusian officials without waiting for the rest of the EU to act, signalling impatience with the West's cautious approach.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

New farm bills in India: Focusing on farms or farmers?

... ...

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Guinea’s elections hearken back to the autocracy and violence of its past

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Delhi's air quality continues to be 'very poor', likely to improve marginally on Monday

Delhis air quality remained in the very poor category on Sunday but is likely to improve marginally on October 26, government agencies said. The national capitals Air Quality Index AQI was recorded at 349 on Sunday. Some areas like Mundka...

Owaisi slams RJD, JD(U) over CAA, NRC

Lok Sabha MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi Sunday slammed Bihars ruling JDU and opposition RJD over the issues of amendments in the citizenship act and the NRC as he addressed a poll rally here. While the Centre has said it will implemen...

Dog sexually assaulted in Mumbai shopping complex

A case was registered after a female dog was allegedly sexually assaulted at a shopping complex in Powai on Thursday. The dog was rushed to a medical facility where an 11-inch wooden stick was recovered from her private parts. The dog, Noor...

Army commanders to review situation in Ladakh, internal reforms at 4-day conference from Monday

Top commanders of the Army will carry out a comprehensive assessment of Indias combat readiness in eastern Ladakh as well as other sensitive areas along the Line of Actual Control with China at a four-day conference beginning Monday, govern...

Give Feedback