Grodno in Belarus meets protesters’ demand
23:59, 18 August 2020 – UNIAN
The city promises not to prosecute protesters.
The city executive committee of the Belarusian city of Grodno has fulfilled protesters’ demands. The Grodno City Executive Committee announced this in a statement published on Grodno Plus TV website.
In particular, the city promises not to prosecute protesters, while the opposition will be provided with TV airtime. Also, the local authorities have allowed rallies in the central squares of Grodno:
Once organizers submit an application for holding protests in the city, they will be provided with medical, technical and informational;
investigations are under way to check facts of citizens’ complaints about causing harm to their health;
Citizens detained for participating in rallies have been released;
Measures have been taken to prevent the use of administrative resources against workers who have taken part in a strike;
Representatives of the democratic community of Grodno, trade unions, political parties and others will have Grodno Plus TV airtime;
Chiefs of the Internal Affairs Department of the Grodno Regional Executive Committee have made a public apology.
Belarus protests in brief
On August 9, presidential elections were held in Belarus. The country’s Central Election Commission announced the final election results. In particular, 80.1% of voters supported incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, 10.1% voted for Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, 1.67% for Anna Kanopatskaya, 1.2% for Andrey Dmitriev, and 1.14% for Sergei Cherechnya. Some 4.59% voted against all candidates.
Thousands of residents of Belarus took to the streets to protest what they believe is a rigged vote count. Riot police violently cracked down on protesters.
Belarus’ Ministry of Internal Affairs said about 7,000 protesters had been detained in different cities since August 9. On the evening of August 13, the authorities started to release detainees.
According to human rights activists, at least five people were killed during clashes with riot police, seven more are in critical condition in intensive care units. The activists say about 200-300 people were detained as political prisoners.
Lukashenko has repeatedly warned against meddling in Belarus’ domestic affairs. He had phone calls with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. As a result, the Kremlin assured it was ready to provide “assistance in solving the problems” in Belarus.
On August 14, the European Union announced it did not recognize the outcome of the presidential elections in Belarus and said work had begun to introduce sanctions over electoral fraud and violence against protesters.