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World Belarus president sworn in at unannounced inaugural ceremony

05:45  06 october  2020
05:45  06 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

Women in Belarus are helping activists build a database of security officers' identities by ripping off their balaclavas and riot helmets at protests

  Women in Belarus are helping activists build a database of security officers' identities by ripping off their balaclavas and riot helmets at protests Activists in Belarus are crowdsourcing a database containing security officers' personal information in an effort to hold them accountable.This coordinated effort has been aided by women, many of whom are middle-aged, who have been ripping off officers' masks, balaclavas, and riot helmets so their faces can be seen and recorded.

The opposition describes the inauguration ceremony in the capital Minsk as a "thieves' meeting". Mass street protests are continuing in Belarus 's capital Minsk, following the inauguration of President Alexander Lukashenko at an unannounced ceremony .

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid The ceremony was held in front of several hundred dignitaries at the ornate Palace of Independence in Minsk, the state news agency Belta said.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus was sworn in Wednesday to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests of the authoritarian leader's reelection, which the opposition says was rigged.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko delivers a speech during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reported that Wednesday's ceremony is taking place in the capital of Minsk, with several hundred top government official present. (Andrei Stasevich, BelTA/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko delivers a speech during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reported that Wednesday's ceremony is taking place in the capital of Minsk, with several hundred top government official present. (Andrei Stasevich, BelTA/Pool Photo via AP) Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko salutes during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reported that Wednesday's ceremony is taking place in the capital of Minsk, with several hundred top government official present. (Andrei Stasevich/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko salutes during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reported that Wednesday's ceremony is taking place in the capital of Minsk, with several hundred top government official present. (Andrei Stasevich/Pool Photo via AP)

One opposition leader called the secretive ceremony “a farce,” and several European countries reiterated that they don’t recognize the results of the election and refuse to regard Lukashenko as the legitimate president. In the evening, thousands of people took to the streets in the capital of Minsk to protest the inauguration and were met with a strong response from police.

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  Belarusians in exile demand democracy: 'The demand is clear — free and fair elections' VILNIUS, Lithuania — Marina Garbuz, 27, insists it was her constitutional right to observe election voting at a school in Minsk Aug. 9, even though she and her 1-year-old daughter were threatened by authorities. © Provided by Washington Examiner She later learned that 110% of the population voted, including 500 of the 300 registered voters in her precinct.But it was not until military police approached her with a threatening gaze that she held her baby girl Anya tightly and ran as fast as she could.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid The ceremony was held in front of several hundred dignitaries at the ornate Palace of Independence in Minsk, the state news agency Belta said.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus was sworn in Wednesday to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests of the authoritarian leader’s reelection, which the opposition says was rigged.

Riot police detain a protester during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo/TUT.by) © Provided by Associated Press Riot police detain a protester during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo/TUT.by)

The ceremony was held in front of several hundred dignitaries at the ornate Palace of Independence in Minsk, the state news agency Belta said. Police and other security forces blocked off parts of the city and public transportation was suspended.

Belarus announces retaliatory sanctions against the EU

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Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid The ceremony was held in front of several hundred dignitaries at the ornate Palace of Independence in Minsk, the state news agency Belta said.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader’s reelection was rigged. Belarus president sworn in at unannounced inaugural ceremonyBy

Lukashenko, 66, took the oath of office in Belarusian with his right hand on the constitution, and the head of the Central Election Commission handed him the official ID card of the president of Belarus.

“The day of assuming the post of the president is the day of our victory, convincing and fateful,” he said. “We were not just electing the president of the country — we were defending our values, our peaceful life, sovereignty and independence.”

The absence of public involvement in the inauguration only proved that Lukashenko lacked a valid mandate to continue leading the country, according to his political opponents and European officials.

A woman reacts in front of police line during a rally in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reported that Wednesday's ceremony is taking place in the capital of Minsk, with several hundred top government official present. (AP Photo/TUT.by) © Provided by Associated Press A woman reacts in front of police line during a rally in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reported that Wednesday's ceremony is taking place in the capital of Minsk, with several hundred top government official present. (AP Photo/TUT.by)

“Even after this ceremony today, Mr. Lukashenko cannot claim democratic legitimization, which would be the condition to recognize him as the legitimate president of Belarus,” said Steffen Seibert, spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He added that the secrecy surrounding the swearing-in was “very telling.”

Lithuania at unexpected forefront in Belarus democracy push

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KYIV, Ukraine — President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus was sworn in Wednesday to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests of the authoritarian leader's reelection, which the opposition says was rigged.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko delivers a speech during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus , Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in

Lukashenko has run Belarus, a former Soviet nation of 9.5 million, with an iron fist for 26 years. Official results of the country's Aug. 9 presidential election had him winning 80% of the vote. His strongest opponent, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, got 10%.

Tsikhanouskaya, who is in exile in neighboring Lithuania after being forced to leave Belarus, says the outcome was invalid, as have the tens of thousands of her supporters who continue to demand Lukashenko's resignation during more than six weeks of mass protests.

Two women provide a health care to a wounded protester during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press Two women provide a health care to a wounded protester during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo)

“The people haven’t handed him a new mandate,” she said, calling the inauguration was “a farce” and an attempt by Lukashenko to “proclaim himself legitimate.”

Belarus: Alexander Lukashenko inaugurated as Belarus President

  Belarus: Alexander Lukashenko inaugurated as Belarus President Embattled Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has been inaugurated as President, state media reported, as protests continue over his hotly-disputed election win. © Andrei Stasevich/AP President Alexander Lukashenko takes his oath of office during an unannounced inauguration ceremony in Minsk on September 23. The country's state press service released images of the unannounced ceremony, which took place in the capital, Minsk, on Wednesday. The embattled Belarusian president assumed office during a ceremony at Minsk's Palace of Independence.

Lukashenko held the ceremony without announcements or publicity earlier in the day, apparently to avoid it becoming a magnet for protesters. “The day in which the president takes office, the day of the inauguration , is the day of our joint victory – a convincing and momentous victory,” Lukashenko

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko delivers a speech during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus was sworn in Wednesday to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not

“I, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, am the only leader that has been elected by the Belarusian people. And our goal right now is to build the new Belarus together,” she said in a video from Lithuania's capital, Vilnius.

The United States and the European Union have questioned the election and criticized the brutal police crackdown on peaceful protesters during the first few days of demonstrations. The EU is pondering sanctions against top Belarusian officials, but failed to agree on imposing them this week.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius called the inauguration “a farce.”

Women comfort each other during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo/TUT.by) © Provided by Associated Press Women comfort each other during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo/TUT.by)

“Forged elections. Forged inauguration. The former president of Belarus does not become less former. Quite the contrary. His illegitimacy is a fact with all the consequences that this entails,” Linkevicius tweeted.

Putin is using RT to double down in Belarus: 'If you arrest the right 500 people, the other 100,000 won't show up'

  Putin is using RT to double down in Belarus: 'If you arrest the right 500 people, the other 100,000 won't show up' "This is the first stage of propping up your dictator ally: Solidify control over state media. Then bolster intelligence gathering on who opposes you," a NATO source said.Meanwhile, Lukashenko continues to arrest his opponents.

Other European officials echoed the sentiment.

In neighboring Poland, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called for an “honest election,” saying on Facebook that the secretive nature of the swearing in ”only confirms that Lukashenko is aware of what he has done, rigging the results of the election."

Riot police detain a protester an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press Riot police detain a protester an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo)

"He is aware that he has no backing from his own nation and that the aggression that he is allowing himself against the people of Belarus is inadmissible,” Morawiecki said.

Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek tweeted that “the elections in Belarus were neither free nor fair. The result is therefore illegitimate, which is why today’s inauguration of Alexander Lukashenko is also illegitimate.”

A woman argues with riot police during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press A woman argues with riot police during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo)

Latvian Foreign Ministry press secretary Janis Bekeris told the Baltic News Service agency that they believe the unexpected inauguration will only deepen the Belarus political crisis, and Latvia will “leave open diplomatic channels for cooperation with Belarus at the technical level.”

Putin says Russia has set up force to aid Belarus leader if needed

  Putin says Russia has set up force to aid Belarus leader if needed Putin says Russia has set up force to aid Belarus leader if neededMOSCOW/MINSK (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday the Kremlin had set up a police force to support Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko at his request, although it would not be deployed unless unrest there spun out of control.

Riot police detain a protester during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo/TUT.by) © Provided by Associated Press Riot police detain a protester during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo/TUT.by)

The Kremlin refused to comment on the inauguration. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he wouldn't comment on “an absolutely sovereign, internal decision of the Belarusian leadership.”

Riot police detain a protester during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo/TUT.by) © Provided by Associated Press Riot police detain a protester during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo/TUT.by)

Anti-Lukashenko protests have rocked the country daily since the election, with the largest rallies in Minsk attracting up to 200,000 people. In the first three days of protests, police used tear gas, truncheons and rubber bullets to disperse crowds. Several protesters died, many were injured and around 6,000 were detained.

Riot police detain a protester during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo/TUT.by) © Provided by Associated Press Riot police detain a protester during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo/TUT.by)

The Viasna human rights group said several protesters were detained near the palace on Wednesday morning, holding banners that said, “The king has no clothes” and “Victory (will belong to) the people.”

Rights group: Scores detained during protests in Belarus

  Rights group: Scores detained during protests in Belarus KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Scores of people were detained in Belarus on Sunday during protests against the country’s authoritarian leader, who won his sixth term in office in a vote widely seen as rigged, a Belarusian rights group said. Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in the Belarusian capital Minsk for the 10th consecutive Sunday, demanding the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko, who has run the country with an iron fist for 26 years. The Viasna human rights center estimated that around 100,000 people took part in the protest, which the police moved to disperse with water cannons, stun grenades and truncheons.

A protester rides a bicycle in front of a police during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press A protester rides a bicycle in front of a police during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo)

In the evening, thousands of people took to the streets in different parts of Minsk to denounce the inauguration. They were met with a heavy response from police, who blocked off some areas of the city center and used water cannons and truncheons to disperse them. Over 140 people were detained, according to the Viasna group, and dozens were injured in the clashes.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko takes his oath of office during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reports that the ceremony will take place with several hundred top government official present. (Andrei Stasevich/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko takes his oath of office during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reports that the ceremony will take place with several hundred top government official present. (Andrei Stasevich/Pool Photo via AP)

Protests continued into late evening despite the crackdown, with groups of demonstrators blocking roads in various parts of the capital.

Rallies also took place in Brest, Vitebsk, Grondo and other cities.

Alexander Klaskousky, an independent Minsk-based analyst, said the secrecy surrounding the inaugural ceremony illustrated the threat the unrest poses to Lukashenko's grip on power.

Central Elections Commission Chairwoman Lidiya Ermoshina, left, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko shake hands during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reports that the ceremony will take place with several hundred top government official present. (Andrei Stasevich/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Central Elections Commission Chairwoman Lidiya Ermoshina, left, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko shake hands during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reports that the ceremony will take place with several hundred top government official present. (Andrei Stasevich/Pool Photo via AP)

“The secret inauguration illustrates the level of trust of the leader in the official results of the election and in the people. Those who officially got 80% of the votes don’t act like that,” Klaskousky said.

Lukashenko has bristled at suggestions of starting a dialogue with the opposition. Amid international outrage over the violent crackdown on the protests, Belarusian authorities switched to prosecuting top activists. Many members of the Coordination Council that was formed by the opposition to push for a transition of power have been arrested or forced to leave the country.

A prominent council member, Pavel Latushko, compared the inauguration to a “gathering of thieves” and refused to recognize Lukashenko as president.

“For us, the citizens of Belarus, for the international community, he is a nobody. An unfortunate error of history and a disgrace of the civilized world," Latushko said on the messaging app Telegram. "We will never agree with the falsification (of the election) and are demanding a new vote. We urge everyone to engage in indefinite civil disobedience!”

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Associated Press writers Daria Litvinova in Moscow, Liudas Dapkus in Vilnius, Lithuania, Karel Janicek in Prague, Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, Geir Moulson in Berlin, and Monika Scislowska in Warsaw, Poland, contributed.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko signs the inauguration certificate during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reports that the ceremony will take place with several hundred top government official present. (Andrei Stasevich/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko signs the inauguration certificate during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reports that the ceremony will take place with several hundred top government official present. (Andrei Stasevich/Pool Photo via AP)

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Follow AP's coverage of Belarus at https://apnews.com/hub/belarus

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This story has been corrected to show that around 6,000 people were detained during the first three days of demonstrations, not more than 7,000.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko takes his oath of office during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reports that the ceremony will take place with several hundred top government official present. (Sergei Sheleg/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko takes his oath of office during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reports that the ceremony will take place with several hundred top government official present. (Sergei Sheleg/Pool Photo via AP)

Rights group: Scores detained during protests in Belarus .
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Scores of people were detained in Belarus on Sunday during protests against the country’s authoritarian leader, who won his sixth term in office in a vote widely seen as rigged, a Belarusian rights group said. Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in the Belarusian capital Minsk for the 10th consecutive Sunday, demanding the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko, who has run the country with an iron fist for 26 years. The Viasna human rights center estimated that around 100,000 people took part in the protest, which the police moved to disperse with water cannons, stun grenades and truncheons.

usr: 1
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