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Police violence during peaceful protests against Lukashenko

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Thousands of people protested peacefully against ruler Alexander Lukashenko for the 15th time in a row at a Sunday demonstration in Belarus, despite police violence. In the capital Minsk, people first gathered in their residential areas and then formed protest marches with the historic white-red-white flags.

The police arrested several participants at the beginning of the unauthorized meetings. The Wesna Human Rights Center published the names of those arrested. There were around 1,000 arrests on each of the last two Sundays. In other cities too, people again called for Lukashenko’s resignation.
Prisoner trucks and water cannons were ready

The power apparatus gathered hundreds of uniformed men from the Ministry of the Interior and the army in Minsk. Prisoner trucks, water cannons and other heavy equipment were ready. The large squares of the capital were cordoned off with metal bars, as can be seen in pictures on the Telegram news channel. The authorities downgraded the mobile connections and blocked around ten metro stations – this should prevent mass gatherings.

This time the action was officially announced as a “march against fascism”. The organizers responded to the latest insults from Lukashenko that they were fascists.

The protests of the democracy movement have been going on for more than three months. The movement also calls for an end to police violence against peaceful demonstrators, the release of all political prisoners and new elections. Lukashenko claims victory in the presidential election on August 9 with 80.1 percent of the vote – after 26 years in office. The opposition sees civil rights activist Svetlana Tichanowskaya as the winner of the election.