- The peaceful demonstrations were however disrupted by masked security men who brutally cracked down on the demonstrators.
- Women demanded the immediate release of the recently imprisoned opposition politician Maria Kolesnikova.
- German Chancellor, Angela Merkel “We are watching: developments in Belarus with great concern.”
Minsk, the capital city of Belarus was once again a scene of chaos as thousands of women took to the streets on Saturday in protest against the Belarusian head of state over the recent handling of the election. Lukashenko’s continued illegal stay on power and his government’s autocratic tendencies.
The peaceful demonstrations were however disrupted by masked security men who turned them into total chaos as they brutally cracked down on the demonstrators and arrested many of them, an act that has strongly been condemned both localy and overseas.
Saturday’s protests comprised mainly of women who aside from their strong opposition to the autocratic Lukashenko administration also demanded the immediate release of the recently imprisoned opposition politician Maria Kolesnikova. “Give us back our Masha,” the women chanted.
Lukashenko, nicknamed as the “last dictator in Europe”, recently reshuffled his security department and called for tough action against what he describes as unauthorized protests in reference to the ongoing peaceful demonstrations against his regime.
During the Saturday’s protests in Minsk, a young woman suffered a laceration in the face after she was badly beaten by a police officer. The daring young lady had pulled the stocking mask off the security man’s face in order to expose him a move that angered the security man who beat the hell out of her.
The Lukashenko administration has so far been denying his opponents permission to hold rallies but has been approving those of his supporters, who have only been managing small crowds in failed bids to counter the massive opposition demonstrations.
Masked security forces surrounded the women at Freedom Square and put some in prisoner trucks. Many women however managed to continue with the protest march. The march later joined forces with other women until the crowd grew to thousands.
Later, the security forces largely held back against women and arrested mostly men. Saturdays are traditionally marked by women’s protests.
There have been daily protests in Belarus since the presidential election more than a month ago. After more than 26 years in power, Lukashenko claimed victory in the recently held election with more than 80 percent of the vote.
The opposition, however, considers Svetlana Tichanovskaya to be the real winner. The election has been criticized internationally for alleged election fraud.
Svetlana Tichanowskaja , who sees herself as the rightful winner of the presidential election on August 9, condemned police violence against women from her exile in the EU .
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel on Saturday reiterated her concern about developments in Belarus. “We are watching developments in Belarus with great concern,” she said in her weekly podcast published on the government’s website. “The commitment to democracy there is literally being trampled. Our heart beats with the peaceful protesters. The courage and determination with which they take to the streets for freedom and the rule of law is admirable.” She added.