Alertes de sécurité

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27 août 2020 | 00h20 UTC

Belarus: Police carry out arrests at protests nationwide on August 26 /update 28

Belarus Alerte de sécurité

Police carry out arrests at protests nationwide on August 26; further protests to be expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 27/8/2020, 12h00 until 29/8/2020, 11h59 (Europe/Minsk). COUNTRY/REGION Minsk, Belarus, Brest

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On Wednesday, August 26, Belarusian police arrested at least 20 people at a protest on Minsk's Independence Square. The arrests came as security forces cleared the square of hundreds of anti-government protesters, who had gathered to denounce the allegedly fraudulent August 9 presidential election, won by incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko. The protests against Lukashenko's rule have entered their third consecutive week and have been reported nationwide. Further arrests were reported on Wednesday at protests elsewhere in Minsk as well as in the western city of Brest.

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


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 Svetlana 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 cannons, 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 August 17 that he was ready to potentially relinquish power following a constitutional referendum; however, this has failed to stem the unrest.


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.


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