Protests in Belarus capital city continue into the new year
There have been no reports about detentions as of yet
MINSK, January 3./TASS/. Protesters once again stage rallies across capital Minsk on Sunday. The opposition has not announced rallies this time as this was the case earlier.
People carrying white-red-white and red-and-green flags, chanting “Long live Belarus” or “We believe! We can! We will Win!” can be seen in various neighborhoods, according to videos uploaded to Telegram channels.
Meanwhile, there have been no reports about detentions as of yet. However, the Viasna human rights center, not registered in Belarus, says on its website that at least ten people have been detained by law enforcement officers at separate rallies in the first days of the new year.
Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.
On December 29, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said protests across the country had not been wrapped up, they got new forms – district rallies, flash mobs, performances. The opposition believes that centralized protests will be revived in spring.