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19 juin 2020 | 02h22 UTC

Belarus: Protesters gather in Minsk following arrest of opposition candidate June 18

Belarus Alerte de sécurité

Protesters gather in Minsk after presidential election opposition candidate detained on June 18; further protests possible over the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 19/6/2020, 12h00 until 22/6/2020, 11h59 (Europe/Minsk). COUNTRY/REGION Minsk, Belarus

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Event

Several thousand people gathered in Minsk on Thursday, June 18, in demonstrations sparked by the arrest of an opposition candidate in the presidential election. Viktor Babariko, who is predicted to be the strongest challenger to incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko in the presidential election on August 9, was arrested on charges of corruption, theft, and money-laundering on Thursday. Protesters formed a human chain and held up traffic in their vehicles during the protest. Lukashenko has faced criticism for his handling of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the economic situation, as well as for overzealously cracking down on dissenting voices. Demonstrations against Lukashenko and his government have been witnessed increasingly as the election draws closer.

Further protests are likely in the run-up to the election. Associated disruptions to transportation and business are to be expected around demonstration sites.

Advice

Individuals in Belarus are advised to monitor developments, avoid all demonstrations and political gatherings as a precaution, and anticipate a heightened security presence and localized disruptions to transportation and business around protest sites.

 

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