Belarus

Hundreds detained in post-election protests. Multiple injured. One reported dead

A girl hit with a rubber bullet. Photo: svaboda.org

 

Riot police dispersed a series of post-election protests held in Minsk and other cities of Belarus. Excessive violence, tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons were used against the peaceful protesters in Minsk. Several people were injured, including one protester reportedly run over by a police van. There are also reports of several demonstrators hospitalized after suffering injuries from stun grenades.

One protester reportedly died, according to a reliable source. The protester was reportedly run over by a police truck after the vehicle was steered into a crowd of demonstrators. Dozens injured protesters are in hospitals.

 Viasna knows the names of about 300 detained protesters, including 120 in Minsk. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, some 3,000 were detained last night, including 1,000 in Minsk. Amongst the detainees are also at least 55 election observers. The Ministry of Health said over 50 protesters and 39 police officers were injured.

Thousands of people took to the streets to protest the official exit polls which awarded a landslide victory to the incumbent Aliaksandr Lukashenka.

According to the Central Election Commission's official statement announced this morning, Lukashenka won the presidential election with around 80% of the votes. The alternative candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya came second with nearly 10%.

Meanwhile, both Tsikhanouskaya's supporters and domestic observers say the election was rigged, as numerous violations were reported at the polling stations. The voter turnout was inflated and the vote count was not transparent, the observers say.

EU condemns state violence against peaceful protesters

EU statement 10.08.2020:

The Presidential elections took place in the Republic of Belarus on 9 August.  The European Union had repeatedly expressed its expectations on the proper conduct of these elections.

The election night was marred with disproportionate and unacceptable state violence against peaceful protesters. This reportedly resulted in the loss of life of one citizen and many others have been injured. We condemn the violence and call for the immediate release of all detained during last night. The Belarusian authorities must ensure that the fundamental right of peaceful assembly is respected.

Following their unprecedented mobilisation for free elections and democracy, the Belarusian people now expect their votes to be counted accurately. It is essential that the Central Electoral Commission publishes the results reflecting the choice of the Belarusian people.

Only upholding human rights, democracy, and free and fair elections will guarantee stability and sovereignty in Belarus. We will continue to closely follow the developments in order to assess how to further shape the EU’s response and relations with Belarus in view of the developing situation.

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