Tens of thousands of protesters at Belarus swarmed the streets of their capital on Sunday, more than two weeks after the nation’s authoritarian President Lukashenko claimed victory in a contested election.
Belarusian media reported that many people sustained injuries.
Lukashenko’s most important challenger, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, obtained just 10 percent of their votes and denied the recognise the result as legitimate, stating it had been manipulated.
Tsikhanouskaya, who’s now in exile in Lithuania after departing the nation in fear for her safety, threatened to call a nationwide strike for Monday unless Lukashenko declared his resignation, released political prisoners and ceased that the crackdown on protesters earlier then.
“The People’s Ultimatum,” as Tsikhanouskaya dubbed her requirements, was the subject of Sunday’s rally.
In an announcement from Vilnius, she voiced support for the protesters in Belarus and stated the deadline for police would expire at 11:59 pm on Sunday.
“If the requirements aren’t fulfilled, Belarusians will begin the national attack,” Tsikhanouskaya explained.
In a second announcement later in the afternoon, she chased the use of stun grenades from the protesters at Minsk and explained the attack would start on Monday.
“The program has once more revealed the Belarusians that violence is the only thing it’s capable of,” she explained.
Tsikhanouskaya’s calls for a strike fueled the demonstration and turned up the pressure on Lukashenko, commentators said.
More than 200,000 people participate in the biggest demonstration in Minsk since late August, the Viasna human rights center said.
They carried white and red flags and marched while chanting”Proceed” And”New election”
Many subway stations were shut, cellular internet wasn’t working, and water cannons and armoured vehicles were observed in the centre of Minsk.
Rallies also took place in different cities in Belarus, and authorities arrested scores of people throughout the nation. A list of arrested protesters published by the Viasna center had over 200 titles by Sunday evening.
The post-election rallies have introduced a significant challenge to Lukashenko, who has run the nation for 26 decades and suppressed opposition and independent media.
Early on, police attempted to quell the unrest with mass detentions and police dispersed audiences with truncheons, stun grenades and water cannons.
According to human rights advocates, approximately 15,000 individuals are arrested in Belarus since the election, and over 100 of them were announced political offenders.