Again people are taking to the streets in many Belarusian cities and the police are brutally attacking them. The authorities report the death of a young protester.
Despite massive police violence, people in many cities in Belarus protested against election fraud under President Alexander Lukashenko for the fourth evening in a row. In several independent channels of the news service Telegram one could see on videos how people in Minsk, Grodno, Brest and other cities called for Lukashenko to end the violence and to resign.
At the same time, solidarity with the demonstrators grew. In Minsk, more than 100 doctors spoke out against violence. The prominent presenter of the state television, Yevgeny Perlin, in view of the “lies” and “violence” demonstratively resigned his well-paid post.
In several cities human chains formed against the police violence. In the presidential election on Sunday, Lukashenko, who has been in office for more than 26 years and is considered the “last dictator in Europe”, was declared the winner for the sixth time – with 80.08 percent of the vote. His opponents, however, see the 37-year-old candidate Svetlana Tichanovskaya as the winner. She fled to the EU country Lithuania under pressure from the authorities.
The candidate Valeri Zepkalo, a prominent IT entrepreneur, who was not eligible for election, appealed from his Russian exile to the EU to recognize Tichanovskaya as president. Hundreds of IT entrepreneurs asked Lukashenko to give in and threatened to leave the country with their companies in an open letter.
Several videos circulated in which men criticizing the violence against peaceful citizens threw their uniforms in the trash or even burned them, and handed in their badges with letters of resignation. They stated that they had sworn their oath to protect the Belarusian people and not to keep a man in power. The authenticity of the videos could not be verified.
Authorities reported the death of a young protester on Wednesday. The 25-year-old died after his arrest in the city of Gomel in the south of the country. According to official information, the cause of death was unclear. It was the second dead since the protests began on Sunday.
The four-time biathlon Olympic champion Darja Domratschewa was dismayed by the violence in her home country on Instagram. She appealed to the Omon Special Police to stop the violence. “Do not allow this unjust horror to continue on the streets,” wrote the “heroine in Belarus” on Instagram. Every conflict can be resolved in a peaceful way. In Minsk, for example, men in black uniforms and storm masks fired rubber bullets indiscriminately at citizens who booed the security forces from balconies and shouted “shame”. There have been many violent arrests.