Hundreds Arrested During Lukashenko Protests in Belarus
Protests against Lukashenka took place in 22 cities
Police in Belarus have arrested about 500 demonstrators over the weekend as protests against Alexander Lukashenko continue in the country.
The country’s interior ministry said 150 people were arrested on Saturday and 350 more on Sunday, the Associated Press reported. Protests were held in 22 cities.
About 100,000 demonstrators took to the streets in Minsk.
The human rights center Viasna said demonstrations were not suppressed as harshly as previous ones, when the police used tear gas, batons and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd..
“Repressions come to a standstill when more than 100,000 people take to the streets,” said the head of the center Ales Bialiatski, quoted by the Associated Press as saying.. “Intimidation tactics no longer work.”.
The Belarusian authorities have launched an investigation into the members of the Opposition Coordination Council, accusing its members of undermining national security. Several people were arrested or forced to leave the country.
Svetlana Aleksievich, Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature 2015, left for Germany on Monday. Another council member, Maxim Znak, was jailed earlier this month and went on a hunger strike since September 18.
Both the United States and the European Union said the elections were not free and fair. Many European countries refused to recognize Lukashenko after his inauguration.
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