Fri, 25 Sep 2020

Minsk: Police Battles Protesters, One Dead
13 Aug 2020, 08:11 GMT+10

It is the second day in a row that people have demonstrated, angry at the results of Sunday's presidential vote. Security services claim to have foiled an attempt to assassinate the president's main election rival.Belarusian police in full riot gear battled protesters for a second evening in capital city Minsk on Monday, followingPresident Alexander Lukashenko's victory in Sunday's election.One protester died, the Interior Ministry reported, alleging that he had intended to throw an explosive device but it blew up in his hand.Security services usedtear gas and shotrubber bullets at people attending peaceful demonstrationsand detained a number of protesters, according to reports by independent Belarusian media.Access to central squares and streets was barred.Police dragged protesters out of the crowd and beat them with truncheons. More than 30 people were arrested, reported news agency Reuters,citing an eyewitness.Lukashenkowon a sixth term as president with 80% of the vote, according to preliminary results released on Monday.The president's opponents have claimed that the election result was rigged in his favor.On Sunday evening and into Monday, mass protests erupted in cities across the country, including the capital Minsk, angry at the result.Belarusian authorities detained about 3,000 people at demonstrations throughout the country, the Interior Ministry said in comments carried by Russian media.The president has been in office since Belarus established the role in 1994 and isdubbed by critics as "Europe's last dictator."'Deeply concerned'The international community hasexpressed concern over the result.Earlier on Monday, Germany's Foreign Ministry said there was "no sign of a free and fair election in Belarus."The US' Trump administration was "deeply concerned" about the elections, saidWhite House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday."Severe restrictions on ballot access forcandidates, prohibition of local independent observers and polling stations, intimidation of opposition candidates and then detention of peaceful protesters and journalists have marred the process and we urge the Belarusian government to respect the right to peaceably assemble and to refrain from the use of force," saidMcEnany. /

Copyright (c) Published with permission via Big News Network news agency

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