Belarus protests: Opposition retains up strain on Lukashenko

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Protesters in Minsk - 13 September

picture copyrightReuters

Tens of 1000’s of individuals are reportedly marching within the capital Minsk and different cities, within the newest of a number of weeks of mass protest towards President Alexander Lukashenko.

Giant numbers of police have been deployed, blocking key areas.

Police stated they’d arrested about 250 individuals forward of the demonstration, dubbed the March of Heroes.

The protests have been triggered by a broadly disputed election a month in the past and subsequent brutal police crackdown.

Demonstrators need Mr Lukashenko to resign after alleging widespread ballot-rigging.

However the Belarusian chief – in energy for 26 years – has denied the allegations and accuses Western nations of interfering.

The 66-year-old has promised to defend Belarus.

Most opposition leaders are actually beneath arrest or in exile.

It’s the fifth successive Sunday of mass protests, with about 100,000 rallying every week.

Eyewitnesses stated the centre of Minsk was flooded with individuals. They’re marching in the direction of the elite residential space of Drozdy, the place the nation’s high officers together with President Lukashenko reside, however roads are blocked by police.

Rallies are additionally being held in Brest, Gomel, Mogilyev and different cities.

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Nonetheless, the Inside Ministry stated that as of 15:00 native time (12:00 GMT) the protests concerned not more than 3,000 individuals throughout the nation.

picture copyrightEPA
picture captionMr Lukashenko has refused to make any concessions to the opposition

The ministry stated arrests had been made in varied districts of the capital, and that these detained had been carrying flags and placards “of an insulting nature”.

Video footage confirmed men in balaclavas pulling people out of the crowds gathering for the beginning of the march and taking them to unmarked minibuses.

Protests had been triggered by elections on 9 August, by which Mr Lukashenko was handed an awesome victory amid widespread studies of vote-rigging.

Violent clashes on a number of nights following the ballot led to 1000’s of arrests, and particulars emerged of extreme beatings by police and overcrowding in detention centres.

This produced a brand new wave of demonstrations, with weekend rallies drawing tens of 1000’s.

Mr Lukashenko has stated he might set up nearer ties with Russia, his foremost ally.

On at the least two events up to now few weeks, he has been photographed close to his residence in Minsk carrying a gun and being surrounded by his closely armed safety personnel.

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