Three months of protest, with no way out at this stage. More than 400 demonstrators were arrested on Sunday in Belarus during the opposition demonstration in Minsk demanding the departure of President Alexander Lukashenko, the leader of the opposition hoping to soon meet the US President-elect Joe Biden.
For three months, opponents of Alexander Lukashenko have been meeting every Sunday in the capital to call on him to resign after the disputed presidential election of August 9, marked by accusations of massive fraud.
They ask the president in power since 1994 to give way to his opponent in the presidential election, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who had to flee abroad, like the main opposition figures, in the weeks following the election. to escape repression.
Several personalities arrested
Several thousand demonstrators, many wearing the red and white colors of the opposition, flocked to the city center, surrounded by a large police force and where several metro stations were closed.
According to the human rights organization Viasna, more than 400 demonstrators were arrested in Minsk and a few other cities. About ten journalists are among them as well as sportsmen, such as the Olympic decathlon medalist Andrei Krauchanka, or Miss Belarus 2008, Olga Jinikova, according to the independent media Tut.by.
“The country has been turned into a prison. It is a military junta, it is impossible to endure this situation, this repression, these people arrested for nothing in the street “, denounced Elena Vassilevich, a 65-year-old pensioner, saying she hoped” finally to live in a free and democratic country “.
Demonstrations “until victory”
Refugee in Lithuania, Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa estimated Sunday that these 90 days of demonstrations without inflection of the regime show that it has “lost its legitimacy and its power”.
“He does not want to give us the right to decide what will happen in our country,” she wrote on Telegram messaging, adding that the protests will continue “until victory”.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who claims victory in the August 9 election, received support from several European leaders who refused to recognize the election result.
On Saturday, she congratulated Joe Biden on his election to the White House. “It was a real race of ideas, programs and teams unlike Belarus, where the votes were simply stolen,” she said.
She added that she believed that “the new president of the United States will soon meet the rightly elected president of a new and free Belarus”, stressing that Joe Biden had “several times taken firm positions in support of the Belarusian people”.
Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday described the election in the United States as a “parody of democracy” and said that he did not expect his relations with Washington to change regardless of the outcome of the election.
Outside Minsk, events are organized in the major cities of Belarus but also by socio-professional categories. On Saturday, about fifty caregivers, for example, demonstrated in front of a hospital in Minsk, according to local media which ensure that several of them were arrested.
The Sunday demonstrations in Belarus bring together tens of thousands of people each time, sometimes more than 100,000, constituting the largest gatherings since the country’s independence in 1991.
The first demonstrations, in the days following the election which Alexander Lukashenko claims to have won with 80% of the vote, were marked by a violent crackdown which left at least three dead and accusations of torture brought by imprisoned demonstrators.
Lukashenko, who excludes resigning, has multiplied his martial statements, for example having assured that the police would soon shoot live ammunition or asking last week to the police “not to take prisoners”.
The president, his son Viktor and thirteen other repression officials in Belarus were officially added to the blacklist of those sanctioned by the EU on Friday.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr