News Alerts

24 Aug 2020 | 11:13 PM UTC

Belarus: Anti-government protesters gather in Minsk August 24 /update 26

Belarus News Alert

Anti-government protesters gather in Minsk on August 24; avoid all protests

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/24/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/25/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Minsk). COUNTRY/REGION Minsk

Read all related news alert(s):

Event

Anti-government protesters gathered in Minsk on Saturday, August 24, to demand the resignation of Alexander Lukashenko. Demonstrators gathered in Independence Square from 19:00 (local time), where protests have frequently been occurring. The gathering comes after authorities arrested two opposition figures, Sergei Dylevsky, a prominent strike leader, and Olga Kovalkova, an aide to opposition politician Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. Both Dylevsky and Kovalkova are members of the "coordination council" set up by the country's opposition for the potential transition of power. The government has opened a criminal case against the council, accusing it of attempting to seize power illegally. Some 200,000 people gathered in Minsk on Sunday, August 23.

Further associated demonstrations are possible in the area in the near term. Previous rallies have been met with a strong response by security forces and resulted in clashes with protesters and arrests. Associated disruptions to transportation and business are likely in the near term.

Context 

Election officials announced that Lukashenko had won 80 percent of the vote in the presidential election held on August 9, with the main opposition candidate Svetalna Tikhanouskaya gaining 9.9 percent. Lukashenko faced few challenges to his sixth term as president, with his main rivals Valery Tsepkalo and Viktor Babariko being barred from standing. However, the run-up to the election saw increased political tensions and opposition protest activity. Opposition groups have denounced the election results as fraudulent.

Protests have taken place throughout Belarus since the election result was announced, with security forces blocking access to a number of cities as clashes with protesters were reported. Security forces have deployed tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannon, batons, and concussion grenades in attempts to disperse crowds. At least two people have been killed and around 6700 people have reportedly been arrested during the unrest, although around 2000 have since been released in a rare sign of concession from the government. Tikhanouskaya subsequently went into exile in Lithuania. Lukashenko announced on Monday, August 17, that he was ready to potentially relinquish power following a constitutional referendum; however, this has failed to stem the unrest.

Advice

Those in Belarus, particularly in Minsk, are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and refrain from discussing politically sensitive topics in public or on social media.

 

Copyright and Disclaimer
GardaWorld is the owner or licensee of all intellectual property rights in the material presented on this website. All such rights are reserved. The use of this website and its material is subject to the Terms of Use and accordingly you must not use any content from this website for commercial or other analogous purposes without our consent, including but not limited to any deep-linking or framing in order to copy, distribute, display or monitor any portion of the website. If you have any questions or are interested in distributing any content from this website, Contact us for more details.

Related news