Protesters clashed with riot police on Tuesday night running in cities across Belarus as the European Union threatened to reapply sanctions on suspicion of election fraud and one Violent suppression of protesters.
After Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who challenged the longtime president, said she had fled the country to protect her child, security forces fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse thousands of protesters in the capital city of Minsk.
The dense police presence has been unable to stop the protesters, who took to the streets accusing Alexander Lukashenko of correcting Sunday’s election results.
Witnesses said they had seen security forces detained dozens of people and beat protesters in the streets.
In the video shared on social media, security forces seem to have slammed the car window and pulled people out of the car to attack them.
Agence France-Presse reporters have seen riot police target journalists, pull out memory cards from their cameras and break the lens. An Associated Press photographer corroborates these claims.
The car horn sounded in solidarity with the opposition, and people marched, clapped and shouted “go away”. Protesters say the departure of Tikhanovskaya will not hinder their movement. “Our goal is to overthrow the Lukashenko regime,” Yakov, a 51-year-old engineer, told AFP in Minsk.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, wife of a jailed blogger who won the majority’s support in a bid against Lukashenko, appeared in a video Tuesday morning to say she had left the country to the country. Lithusania neighborhood for the safety of her children.
“You know, I think this whole campaign really helped me try and gave me a lot of power so I could handle anything,” she said in an emotional video. “But perhaps, in the first place, I’m still a weak woman. I made a very difficult decision for myself, ”she said, adding that the political turmoil was not worth anyone losing their life for.
Tikhanouskaya, who was only running for her husband, Syarhei, has been jailed for his anti-government activities.
Belarusian state media released a second video in which Tikhanovskaya urged supporters not to protest. Her allies said it was recorded under duress.
Linas Linkevicius, Lithuania’s foreign minister, said she was safe in his country now.
The EU condemned the results of Sunday’s election, officially declared a landslide election for Lukashenko with 80% of the vote. Tikhanovskaya, 37, came in second with 10% despite having staged massive campaigns that observers say exhibited the greatest defiance ever seen during Lukashneko’s 26 years in power.
Brussels said the election was “neither free nor fair” and warned that those responsible for “violence, unreasonable arrests and distorting election results” could be punished.
It also accused Lukashenko’s government of “disproportionate and unacceptable violence” against the protesters and said it was reconsidering its relationship with Minsk.
The Belarusian government said on Tuesday that more than 2,000 people were detained across the country for participating in unspecified protests on Monday night and early Tuesday’s hour. It added that 21 policemen were injured in clashes with protesters, and 5 of them were hospitalized.
The day before, the government reported more than 3,000 arrests and said 89 people were injured, including 39 law enforcement officers.
The death was first confirmed on Monday when police said a man died after an exploding device was in his hand. On Tuesday, people who placed flowers and white ribbons at the site in Minsk, where he died were reportedly targeted by riot police.
“You can shut down Tikhanovskaya, but you won’t be able to threaten and shut down an entire nation. We continued the peaceful protests and did not recognize Lukashenko as president, ”said protester Denis Kruglyakov, 24, said.
Human rights group Viasna also reported mass detention in the cities of Grodno, Brest and Vitebsk.
The internet remained blocked for the third day in a row in a government effort to make it harder for protesters to coordinate efforts and for people to find out what happened to their missing loved ones. surname. “We are still waiting for any signs or information,” said Lena Radomanova, who was looking for a friend who disappeared.
The White House said it was “deeply concerned” about the violence. Poland offered to mediate between Mr Lukashenko and the opposition, and called for an emergency summit of the EU.
Lukashenko has vowed not to let Belarus be “torn apart” and consider the protesters as pawns of foreign powers.
Belarus’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it had “indisputable” evidence of “foreign interference”.