media captionDemonstrators move via Minsk, many wearing the crimson and white flag that is been followed by way of the opposition

Tens of hundreds of other people have rallied within the Belarusian capital Minsk for a brand new unsanctioned protest in opposition to President Alexander Lukashenko.

Riot police charged protesters close to the presidential palace, firing pepper spray and wielding batons, and dozens of arrests have been made.

Protesters are searching for the resignation of the long-time president.

They accuse the government of rigging his re-election simply over a month in the past, sparking fatal mass unrest.

At least 4 other people have died and loads had been injured since then, as the federal government attempted to stamp out dissent.

Plenty of opposition figures have fled the rustic, On Saturday, activist Olga Kovalkova turned into the newest to mention she had taken safe haven in neighbouring Poland amid threats of imprisonment.

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Mr Lukashenko, in energy since 1994, has accused Western countries of interfering.

Protesters, human rights activists and observers say insurrection police are brutally suppressing non violent marches.

The former Soviet republic borders Russia, on which it relies closely for power and with which it traditionally has shut ties, in addition to Ukraine and EU states.

Presentational grey line

Lukashenko fails to forestall protests as soon as once more

By Jonah Fisher, BBC News, Minsk

Sunday’s rally had a number of levels. The first was once the anxious and unsure. Security forces had used razor cord to near off the most obvious amassing issues, Minsk’s primary monuments and squares, and have been status guard in the back of them. Would-be protesters stood awkwardly on boulevard corners questioning the place and when the march would get started.

Those in small teams have been inclined and we watched as a person maintaining the outlawed crimson and white flag of the opposition was once dragged right into a automobile by way of security officials and pushed away. Then, because the numbers grew, there have been nervy stand-offs close to Independence Square. As they grew in self belief the demonstrators approached, berating the insurrection police on the barricades that now blocked the street.

At about 4 within the afternoon the group swelled exponentially as other people marched out of the centre. This was once now not the courageous early arrivals, it was once Belarusians old and young. Some have been in fancy get dressed, others dressed in garments that without delay mocked the insurrection police, the Omon.

There have been households, kids, canine – any individual even introduced a goose. It’s exhausting to estimate numbers of this measurement from the bottom however I’d say there have been a minimum of 100,000, perhaps many extra. For the fourth Sunday in a row President Lukashenko’s makes an attempt to forestall the protest in opposition to him failed.

What is the temper in Minsk?

Sunday has grow to be the important thing day for boulevard demonstrations for the reason that rallies started.

symbol copyrightReuters

symbol captionProtesters streamed via Minsk

symbol copyrightReuters

symbol captionProtesters are difficult an finish to police brutality
symbol copyrightReuters
symbol captionGay rights supporters joined the protest on Sunday as police blocked streets

In contemporary days the security forces – dressed all in black with balaclavas over their faces – focused college scholars as they returned from their vacations, dragging some from the streets and college constructions into unmarked minivans.

Video photos on Sunday presentations males in simple garments beating non violent protesters with batons.

A Belarusian human rights workforce stated greater than 150 other people were detained in Minsk.

One protester in Minsk, who gave her identify as Lyudmila, instructed BBC News previous that the demonstrators have been undeterred by way of the security forces.

media captionA 73-year-old great-grandmother has became an not going hero for demonstrators in Belarus

“We are indisputably now not in a position to get again to the lifestyles we had for a few years now,” she stated.

“We in the end really feel like we subject as a result of we have now been dwelling in apathy for manner too lengthy and now we simply have this sense of harmony and we in truth assume that – smartly, I believe for my part that – adjustments already are taking place in order that’s indisputably now not the time to surrender.”

Protests have additionally been reported in different Belarusian towns and cities together with Grodno, Mogilev and Gomel.

What took place to Olga Kovalkova?

The activist stated on Saturday she had left for Poland as she would have confronted a protracted prison time period had she now not agreed to go away Belarus.

Ms Kovalkova stated security forces had pushed her to a border submit the place she was once in a position to board a bus to Poland after the motive force recognised her.

symbol copyrightReuters
symbol captionOpposition activist Olga Kovalkova (noticed right here on 22 August) has now left Belarus

A spokesman for Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated his nation would provide reinforce to sufferers of repression in Belarus.

symbol copyrightEPA

symbol captionMs Tikhanovskaya has been compelled to go away Belarus

Ms Tikhanovskaya, 37, represented the executive opposition to Mr Lukashenko within the election, getting into the presidential race after her husband, Sergei Tikhanovsky, and any other candidate have been jailed.

She stated the opposition was once difficult an finish to the police violence, the instant unencumber of all political prisoners, and a unfastened and truthful election.

How has the EU reacted to occasions in Belarus?

Last month, EU leaders agreed to impose sanctions – together with asset freezes – on as but unnamed Belarusian officers interested by alleged election-rigging, brutality and imprisonment of protesters. The actual sanctions are nonetheless being labored out.

The UN particular rapporteur on Belarus, Anais Marin, stated Mr Lukashenko’s re-election as president was once “utterly manipulated” and “other people’s votes have been stolen”.

media captionLukashenko leaves helicopter dressed in a flak jacket and wearing an attack rifle

She accused the Belarus police of torture, mentioning as one instance a 16-year-old who was once “so badly overwhelmed up he was once left in a coma”.

“The government should unencumber all the ones arbitrarily arrested,” she stated. “The govt is waging an insane conflict in opposition to its personal other people.”

What is Lukashenko’s stance?

Mr Lukashenko has denied any allegations of vote-rigging. He has blamed some EU countries, specifically Poland and Lithuania, of seeking to pressure regime trade.

The 66-year-old has promised to protect Belarus.

On Thursday, he indicated he was once open to transferring nearer to Russia, announcing the protests had “brought about us to make related conclusions”.

On a minimum of two events he has been photographed close to his place of abode in Minsk wearing a gun and being surrounded by way of his closely armed security workforce.

Related Topics

  • Alexander Lukashenko

  • Minsk
  • Svetlana Tikhanovskaya
  • United Nations
  • Belarus

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