Kyiv, Ukraine (AP)-Thousands of people marched in the streets of the Belarusian capital on Sunday, demanding the expulsion of the country’s dictatorship leader, who won a sixth term in an election that is widely considered to be rigged.
According to information from the Viasna Human Rights Center, more than 50,000 people participated in the Minsk rally. The demonstrators held up slogans, mocking President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the country for 26 years, and chanted “Go away!”
The authorities tried to quell the unrest through mass detention. Police used batons, stun grenades and water guns to disperse the crowd. On Monday, the Ministry of Internal Affairs threatened the use of guns against protesters “if needed”, saying that the rally “has become well-organized and extremely aggressive.” However, although the crackdown continued, the protests continued.
“This is the first demonstration since the authorities threatened the use of guns. But this did not even stop the protests. The protests took a different form, but they did not die.
Tsikhanouskaya left the country for fear of her safety and is currently in exile in Lithuania. She threatened on Tuesday that unless Lukashenko announced her resignation, she would go on strike nationwide to release political prisoners and stop suppressing demonstrators.
Qihannusskaya said in a statement: “If our requirements are not met before October 25, then the whole country will take to the streets peacefully.” “October 26, all companies nationwide The sex strike will begin, all roads will be blocked, and sales in state-owned stores will collapse.”
Protesters marched on a main street in Minsk on Sunday, where there are factories and factories, and chanted “Strike!” and “Workers with the people.”
The city center was blocked by water cannons and armored vehicles, and dozens of military trucks were seen driving on the street. Several subway stations are closed, and there is no mobile internet in the marching area.
Valery Kabalevich, an independent political analyst in Minsk, said: “Lukashenko knew that if there were no all these man-made obstacles, the whole Minsk would come out.”
Karbalavitch said: “Despite the use of guns and intimidation by the KGB (Belarusian National Security Council), people still took to the streets and the protests did not end. This shows that the political crisis in Belarus is in full swing.”
In a statement on Sunday, Tsikhanouskaya encouraged Belarusians to continue peaceful protests.
She said: “Let us continue to be peaceful, continue to express our demands, and we are getting results.” She added that the authorities have removed Ilya Salei, the lawyer of Maria Kolesnikova, the top partner of Tikhanouskaya.
Kolesnikova (Kolesnikova) was sentenced to prison last month for undermining national security. If she is convicted, she may be sentenced to five years in prison. Salei was also detained on the same charge in September.
In addition to Minsk, Sunday’s protests also took place in several major cities, including Brest, Grodno, Gomel and Vitebsk. Dozens of demonstrators have been detained across the country: There are more than 150 names on the list of detained demonstrators released by the Viasna Center on Sunday night.