Tens of thousands of people are demonstrating in Belarus

Tens of thousands of people are demonstrating in Belarus

A soldier at the seat of government in Minsk lowers his sign in solidarity with the demonstrators. Despite the release of many prisoners in Belarus, tens of thousands of people demonstrated.

© Sergei Grits/AP/dpa
A soldier at the seat of government in Minsk lowers his sign in solidarity with the demonstrators. Despite the release of many prisoners in Belarus, tens of thousands of people demonstrated.

Despite new warnings from the head of state Alexander Lukashenko about protests, numerous people have taken to the streets in Belarus (Belarus). Tens of thousands gathered for a funeral service on Saturday in the capital Minsk alone. They were reminiscent of a man who was killed in a demonstration. Nationwide people protested against violence and arbitrariness under Lukashenko – for the sixth day in a row. The police initially held back. The president called the protests “a threat” to his country. He made it clear that he wasn’t thinking of giving up.

Next Monday he wanted to visit the state truck builder, the 65-year-old announced according to the state agency Belta. There he wants to give the employees answers to their questions. In state-owned companies, more and more employees are taking down their work in protest. According to observers, this could seriously damage the economy in Belarus. Lukashenko therefore warned again of losing a job if companies went bankrupt: “We mustn’t put any pressure on anyone, we just have to tell them that.”

Attempt to overthrow

At the same time, he sees the protests as an attempt to overthrow. “We’re already reading the instructions for a color revolution,” he said. There are already “elements of external interference”. “We’ll see what happens. We must not allow ourselves to be lulled by the peaceful actions and demonstrations, ”said the head of state. Lukashenko had been declared the winner of the election on Sunday for the sixth time in a row. But many people doubt this and consider Svetlana Tichanowskaya to be the real winner. Tichanovskaya had called for new peaceful mass actions from her exile in the EU country Lithuania. She gets broad support for it.

During the protests in the past few days, the police had acted extremely brutally against peaceful people. There were nearly 7,000 arrests. More than 2,000 of them were released on Friday. Information on further releases was initially not available on Saturday. Many people released reported abuse in prison. Protesters showed pictures of injuries to the body with large bruises at the rally on Saturday.

Meanwhile, more and more artists and musicians are calling on the state apparatus to renounce violence. The Belarusian rock band BI-2 wrote on Telegram: “Guys, stop beating your own people.” And: “We support Belarus in its fight for freedom.”

Emotional scenes took place at the memorial service in Minsk. People knelt at the scene of the accident and lit candles. “Belarus is burying its hero today,” said a protester in a video on the Telegram news channel. One woman said, “I don’t know this young man, but he’s a hero to me. I want to thank him. ”She added:“ We are in favor of a new president and for peaceful new elections. ”

Explosive device explodes

According to the authorities, an explosive device that he wanted to throw at security forces should have exploded in the hand of the 34-year-old. Many people don’t believe this version. An eyewitness told the tut.by portal that the man ran up to the police on Monday and that there was no explosion. The father of the victim should therefore not have been allowed to see his son one last time in the morgue.

Lukashenko described the protests on Saturday as a “threat” to Belarus, but also to Russia. At lunchtime he phoned the Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. Both sides were confident that the problems would be resolved soon, the Kremlin said afterwards. These problems should not be exploited by “destructive forces” to impair cooperation between the two countries. Belarus is economically dependent on Russia.

Meanwhile, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania called Lukashenko for new elections. With the participation of international observers, free and fair presidential elections should be conducted in a transparent manner, according to a joint statement by the three heads of government.

The EU launched sanctions against Lukashenko’s supporters on Friday in view of the violence in Belarus. The Baltic heads of government emphasized that it is also important that the international community find ways and means to provide greater support to civil society in Belarus. The Belarusian people should not be punished for the actions of their leadership. (dpa)

Video: No end to violence in Belarus: EU thinks about sanctions (Euronews)

No end to violence in Belarus: EU is considering sanctions

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