Opposition supporters in Belarus are keeping a mass rally within the capital Minsk, two weeks after a disputed election gave President Alexander Lukashenko some other time period in place of work.
Folks had been flowing within the central sq., in spite of heavy police presence.
The protesters say Mr Lukashenko stole the election and need him to surrender.
The president has vowed to overwhelm the unrest and has up to now blamed the dissent on unnamed “foreign-backed revolutionaries”.
Fresh protests had been met with a crackdown through which no less than 4 folks have died. Demonstrators stated they’d been tortured in prisons.
In accordance professional effects, Mr Lukashenko – who has dominated Belarus for 26 years – gained greater than 80% of the vote within the nine August election and opposition chief Svetlana Tikhanovskaya 10%.
There have been no unbiased observers, and the opposition says there used to be huge vote rigging.
Ms Tikhanovskaya, who used to be pressured to escape to neighbouring Lithuania the day after the election, vowed to “stand until the tip” within the protests.
What is occurring in Minsk?
Tens of 1000’s of folks – from the aged to these with young children – accumulated in Independence Sq. on Sunday.
Many have been sporting crimson and white flags or white flora, and chanted “freedom” and anti-government slogans.
The BBC’s Jonah Fisher is on the scene and says rebellion police took up positions close to the sq., with loudspeakers blaring warnings that the protest used to be unlawful.
As it all started, the defence ministry issued a commentary invoking Belarus’s sacrifices all through International Struggle Two, and pronouncing the military would take over the security of conflict memorials.
This weekend’s rally follows the rustic’s largest protest in fashionable historical past closing Sunday, when loads of 1000’s crammed the streets.
Belarus – the fundamental details
The place is Belarus? It has Russia – the previous dominant energy – to the east and Ukraine to the south. To the north and west lie EU and Nato contributors Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
Why does it subject? Like Ukraine, this country of nine.five million is stuck in competition between the West and Russia. President Lukashenko, an best friend of Russia, has been known as “Europe’s closing dictator”. He has been in energy for 26 years, holding a lot of the financial system in state arms, and the use of censorship and police crackdowns towards fighters.
What is going on there? Now there’s a large opposition motion, tough new, democratic management and financial reform. Mr Lukashenko’s supporters say his toughness has saved the rustic solid.