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Home / World / Belarus elections: Second Belarusian protesters die when the United Nations sounds the alarm

Belarus elections: Second Belarusian protesters die when the United Nations sounds the alarm



Police detain a man in Minsk, Belarus.  Photo: August 12, 2020

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EPA

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Belarusian police are accused of using violence against protesters

One protester died in Belarus in police custody, the second death since clashes with police broke out on Sunday over disputed presidential elections.

Officials say the cause of the death of the 25-year-old man in Gomel is unclear. His mother said that he had heart problems and was held for hours in the police car.

In Brest, police said they used live ammunition when attacked.

The UN has condemned the administration̵

7;s use of violence, as the protests continued until Wednesday night.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said police officers were believed to have used excessive force, fired rubber bullets and tornadoes, and threw stun grenades.

“Reports suggest that more [than] About 6,000 people have been detained in the past three days, including bystanders, as well as minors, showing a massive trend of arrests that clearly violates international human rights standards, “said Ms. Bachelet. An announcement.

“Even more worrying are reports of mistreatment during and after detention,” she added, calling for the release of all illegally detained people.

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Media annotationA BBC group in Minsk encountered violence on Monday night

At least 200 protesters were injured, some seriously injured. A BBC crew was also attacked by police on Tuesday night.

The Belarusian Interior Ministry earlier said a protester was dead when an explosive device exploded in his hands in the capital Minsk on Monday.

On Wednesday night, multiple clashes were reported as protesters resumed their rally in Minsk and other Belarusian cities. The street numbers appear to be smaller than in previous nights.

Protests erupted hours after Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, in power since 1994, was declared the winner of Sunday’s vote, which was condemned by the EU as “not free and public. equal”.

The main opposition candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, was briefly held off before fleeing to neighboring Lithuania.

What is known about the protesters’ deaths in Gomel?

The 25-year-old man died on Wednesday in the country’s southeastern city, the Belarus Investigation Commission was quoted by Belta news agency.

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EPA

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Women in Minsk rallied on Wednesday to support detained protesters

The commission said the man was arrested on Sunday and then sentenced to 10 days in prison for participating in an illegal protest.

He was taken to hospital when he started not feeling well – but died later, the committee said. The incident is being investigated.

The protester’s mother told Radio Free Europe that her son did not participate in any of the protests and was arrested while going to see his girlfriend.

How did the world react?

According to election officials, Mr Lukashenko won 80% of the vote on Sunday, but there are many allegations of vote fraud.

The head of EU foreign policy Josep Borrell said the Belarusians had expressed a “desire for democratic change” during the election campaign.

  • How rallies rocked the election

The Swedish foreign minister said EU foreign ministers would meet on Friday to discuss imposing sanctions on Belarus.

Lithuania, Poland and Latvia said they were ready to mediate, provided the Belarusian government stopped violence against protesters, released detained protesters and formed a national council with members. members of civil society. They warn that the alternative is sanctions.

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EPA

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Alexander Lukashenko has been in power since 1994

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed to a “not free and fair” vote, adding that the people “should be given the freedoms they are demanding”.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin previously congratulated Lukashenko on his victory, despite contradictions over the alleged Russian conspiracy that Mr Lukashenko had tried to link with the opposition.

The leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Moldova and Azerbaijan sent out messages of support.

What happened to the opposition?

When 37-year-old Tikhanovskaya went to the electoral commission on Monday night to complain about the result that only got her 10% of the vote, she was detained for seven hours. By Tuesday morning, she went to Lithuania.

She was a mother at home until she entered the race after her husband was caught and blocked from registering to vote.

She was one of three women who had gathered her resources to lead the opposition. Veronika Tsepkalo fled Belarus on polling day and Maria Kolesnikova remained in Belarus.

According to one associate, Tikhanovskaya was escorted from the country by authorities as part of an agreement allowing her campaign manager to be released.

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Media annotationSvetlana Tikhanovskaya: “No life is worth what is happening now”

A second video later appeared apparently taken during her detention. The images showed her bowed, anxiously reading the script as she urged her supporters to “follow the law” and to stay away from street protests.

Ahead of Sunday’s elections, crowds flocked to opposition protests, in which Belarusians were angered in part by the Lukashenko’s government’s response to the coronavirus.

The President has downplayed the outbreak, recommending people to drink vodka and use saunas to fight the plague.


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