- Dozens of people, mostly women, were detained in Minsk today.
- Among the detainees today is veteran activist Nina Baguínskaya , 73, an iconic figure.
- Despite citizen protests and international condemnations, Lukashenko took up his sixth term in a secretly conducted inauguration ceremony.
At least 80 people were detained at opposition demos in Belarus on Saturday as women took to the streets to protest against Alexander Lukashenko‘s continued clinch on the nation’s presidency as reported by the the Viasna human rights organization.
The arrests took place immediately when the traditional women’s demonstration began. The demo which takes place on Saturdays has seen many persons thrown behind bars. Last week, more than 300 people were detained as they took part in the demo.
Among the detainees today is veteran activist Nina Baguínskaya , 73, who has already become an iconic figure in the Belarus protests.
Before being taken to a police vehicle, a masked agent forcibly removed her red and white flag, which symbolizes the opposition in that country, a situation recorded in several videos published on social networks.
Nina Baguínskaya had already been detained at the women’s demonstration last week. She was released after a few hours, according to the NGO Vesná.
The aim of today’s peaceful protest, called by the opposition, was to rehearse in a “festive atmosphere the inauguration” of the opposition leader, who is in exile, Svetlana Tijanóvskaya , and who is considered the legitimate President of the country.
Dressed in red and white, with roses of the same colors in their hands and hundreds of red and white flags, the women who took to the streets of Minsk today showed banners with the face of the opposition leader.
“Our president is Svetlana, ” shouted a group of women.
According to the Central Electoral Commission, Alexander Lukashenko obtained 80.1% of the vote in the August 9 elections , compared with Tijanóvskaya’s 10% .
This electoral result is rejected by the opposition and by western countries, which consider it fraudulent.
Despite citizen protests and international condemnations, Lukashenko , who has been in power for 26 years, took up his sixth term this week, in a secretly conducted inauguration ceremony.
Both the United States and the European Union have already announced that they do not recognize Alexander Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus .
Several journalists covering the demonstration were also arrested today, as has been the case since the start of post-election protests.
Also today, in the ‘Race for Freedom’ in a park in the capital, where protesters demanded the release of political prisoners, arrests took place.
Of the seven members of the Coordination Council for the political transfer of power, only the writer Svetlana Alexievich , is free in the country, with the remaining either imprisoned or exiled.
According to information collected by Vesná , five members of the music band Best Sound Ban were arrested when one of the most well-known songs by the Soviet rock legend Víktor Tsoi , the song ‘Changes’, became a sort of anthem for protesters in Belarus .
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