Belarusian security forces again cracked down on anti-government protesters in the capital Minsk on Sunday. Human rights organizations estimate that at least 150 people have been arrested, including journalists.
A quarter of a century in power
The demonstrations have been going on for the fourteenth week in a row. Protesters are upset about the August 9 election results, which won current President Alexander Lukashenko with over 80 percent of the vote. The demonstrators and the opposition speak of electoral fraud.
Witnesses reported on Sunday that the security forces used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the protesters. An unknown number of people were injured. A woman is said to have been hit in the foot by a projectile. A video shows an unconscious man lying on a lawn being treated by uniformed doctors.
Images were shown on the Telegram message platform of activists running away from law enforcement officers in black uniforms. The rally, according to the Belarusian opposition, is intended to commemorate a 31-year-old man who was reportedly brutally attacked by security officials a few days ago. He later died in a hospital.
Order troops have been diametrically opposed to anti-government protesters in cities in Belarus for weeks (photo: ANP).
Lukashenko has been in power in the Eastern European country for 26 years. Last August’s election was his sixth. His biggest opponent, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, has fled to neighboring Lithuania. She tries to oppose from there. However, this is complicated by large-scale police actions and the deportation of foreign journalists by the Belarusian government.
The European Union and the United States, among others, have introduced sanctions against government officials and high-ranking officials in Belarus.