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World Rights group: Scores detained during protests in Belarus

21:15  11 october  2020
21:15  11 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

Belarus president sworn in at unannounced inaugural ceremony

  Belarus president sworn in at unannounced inaugural ceremony 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. 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.

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.

People provide a health care to a wounded protester during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Belarus' authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for challenging his re-election that was widely seen as manipulated and triggered two months of protests. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press People provide a health care to a wounded protester during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Belarus' authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for challenging his re-election that was widely seen as manipulated and triggered two months of protests. (AP Photo) People clash with policemen during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Belarus' authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for challenging his re-election that was widely seen as manipulated and triggered two months of protests. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press People clash with policemen during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Belarus' authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for challenging his re-election that was widely seen as manipulated and triggered two months of protests. (AP Photo)

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.

Belarus' authoritarian leader visits his foes in prison

  Belarus' authoritarian leader visits his foes in prison KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Belarus' authoritarian president on Saturday visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for challenging his re-election that was widely seen as manipulated and triggered two months of protests. President Alexander Lukashenko spent more than four hours talking to his jailed political foes at the Minsk prison that belongs to Belarus' State Security Committee, which still goes under its Soviet-era name, KGB. © Provided by Associated Press Police block the road to against an opposition rally protesting the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020.

Belarusian police block a street during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Belarus' authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for challenging his re-election that was widely seen as manipulated and triggered two months of protests. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press Belarusian police block a street during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Belarus' authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for challenging his re-election that was widely seen as manipulated and triggered two months of protests. (AP Photo)

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

Dozens of protesters sustained injuries, according to Viasna. The group released a list of protesters detained across the country on its website that by Sunday evening had more than 300 names on it.

Lithuania at unexpected forefront in Belarus democracy push

  Lithuania at unexpected forefront in Belarus democracy push VILNIUS, Lithuania — A white and red Belarusian flag is draped over an angel statue outside the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry building in Vilnius. © Provided by Washington Examiner The symbol of this Baltic capital also reflects Lithuania’s unexpected role as chief harbinger of democratic transition in the Russia-aligned nation suffering widespread human rights abuses just 20 miles across its southern border. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

“This has been the harshest dispersal of a Sunday march since August,” Viasna leader Ales Bialiatski told The Associated Press.

Mass protests have rocked Belarus for over two months, with the largest ones held on Sundays and drawing up to 200,000 people. The unprecedented unrest was triggered by the results of the Aug. 9 presidential election that handed Lukashenko a victory with 80% of the vote.

His main challenger, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, got 10%. She and her supporters refused to recognize the results, saying the outcome of the vote was manipulated.

In the first days of the protests, Belarusian authorities cracked down brutally on protesters, with police detaining thousands and injuring scores with truncheons, rubber bullets and stun grenades. The violent response to the rallies prompted international outrage.

The government has since scaled down on the violence but has maintained the pressure, detaining hundreds of protesters and prosecuting top activists. Prominent members of the opposition’s Coordination Council, formed to push for a transition of power, have been arrested or forced to leave the country.

Apple Is Censoring Belarus Protesters, Activists Say

  Apple Is Censoring Belarus Protesters, Activists Say "We're mostly concerned that if those criminals understand that no one can find them behind [their] mask, they'll ramp up the violence against protesters tenfold," an activist told Newsweek.Thousands of Belarusians have taken to the streets since August to protest against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko—who has been dubbed "Europe's last dictator." On August 9, Belarus held an election, with the official results showing Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years, winning about 80 percent of the vote. Opposition supporters quickly cried foul, and European and American officials have said the election was neither free nor fair.

Belarus policemen detain men during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have been protesting daily since the Aug. 9 presidential election. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press Belarus policemen detain men during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have been protesting daily since the Aug. 9 presidential election. (AP Photo)

At least 35 journalists have been detained during protests on Sunday, according to the Belarusian Association of Journalists. Police and other security forces blocked off central areas of Minsk, and military trucks and armored carriers were seen in the city before the rally.


Video: Russian police detain protesters in Khabarovsk after months of demonstrations (NBC News)

On Saturday, Lukashenko visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for challenging his reelection. Lukashenko’s office said that “the goal of the president was to hear everyone’s opinion.”

Belarusian opposition supporters block a street during a rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Belarus' authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for challenging his re-election that was widely seen as manipulated and triggered two months of protests. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press Belarusian opposition supporters block a street during a rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Belarus' authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for challenging his re-election that was widely seen as manipulated and triggered two months of protests. (AP Photo)

Commentators said the move was an attempt to imitate a dialogue that would allow Lukashenko to drown the protests in talks and reduce tensions.

Belarus announces retaliatory sanctions against the EU

  Belarus announces retaliatory sanctions against the EU KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Belarusian authorities on Friday announced they were imposing sanctions against the European Union, and threatened to revise the country's diplomatic relations with the bloc, in response to EU sanctions on several dozen Belarus officials accused of falsifying presidential election results and leading a crackdown on peaceful protesters. The EU in the early hours of Friday decided to impose sanctions on about 40 officials, with the exception of President Alexander Lukashenko, who was re-elected in August in a vote the opposition sees as rigged.

People attend an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Belarus' authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for challenging his re-election that was widely seen as manipulated and triggered two months of protests. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press People attend an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Belarus' authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for challenging his re-election that was widely seen as manipulated and triggered two months of protests. (AP Photo)

Following detentions and beatings during Sunday's protest, Bialiatski of the Viasna center said that “instead of a dialogue, Belarusians received another strong-arm dispersal (of a protest) with the beaten and the injured.”

Tsikhanouskaya, who is in exile in Lithuania after leaving Belarus in fear for her safety and that of her children, said Sunday that any dialogue with the authorities should start only after they stop detentions and release political prisoners.

“We are all working together to stop forceful detentions, release political prisoners and set a time and a place for talks. If these demands are not met, then they are trying to deceive us," Tsikhanouskaya said in a statement.

She encouraged Belarusians on Sunday to continue peaceful protests.

“We will continue to peacefully and persistently come out to marches and demand (what we want) — new free and transparent elections,” Tsikhnaouskaya said.

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.

How music became a weapon in the "revolution" in Belarus .
It started with members of the national philharmonic playing folk songs on the steps of a concert hall, but grew into a flash mob movement against "Europe's last dictator." But the harsh response has clearly backfired. Despite being beaten, bludgeoned and even tortured, Belarusians' fear has fomented into anger, and courage.

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