An opposition rally is scheduled to take place in Minsk on Sunday, July 19. Participants of the opposition demonstration are set to gather at the Park of Peoples' Friendship at approximately 17:00 (local time). Previous nationwide opposition rallies on July 14-15 resulted in small scuffles between protesters and security forces.
Further protests are likely ahead of the presidential elections on August 9. Associated disruptions to transportation and business are to be expected around demonstration sites.
Police have detained several hundred anti-government demonstrators over the past few weeks in efforts to quell anti-government sentiment prior to the August 9 election. The majority of President Alexander Lukashenko's political rivals are either in detention or under investigation. The barring of the two main rivals - Valery Tsepkalo and Viktor Babariko - makes Lukashenko's chances of remaining in power all the more likely; he has been in power for 26 years.
Individuals in Belarus advised to avoid all protests as a precaution, monitor the situation, allow ample travel time, and obey instructions issued by local authorities.
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