Belarus Protest Coming to Head
Author: Bradley Bigelow
Posted September 25th, 2020
In Belarus, a large number of protestors were detained over the weekend during protests over the country’s recent presidential election. About 150 protestors were detained on Saturday, while another 250 were detained the following day. This comes weeks after the police came under heavy international scrutiny for their handling of the first demonstrations in August, where they detained almost 7000 people and used tactics so violent to disperse the crowds that people died. Protestors say that the police force cannot handle this many people in the streets. “The authorities scare tactics don’t work anymore,” said Ales Bialiatski. Belarusian authorities are now appearing to be going after top organizers and key activists, in hopes to quell the protests. They have now opened an investigation into a key opposition faction.
Belarus, commonly referred to as Europe's last dictatorship, had just re-elected it’s long-standing president, 66-year-old Alexander Lukashenko, back in August. The election has been speculated to have been rigged, not only by Belarusian opposition leaders but also by Belarusian poll workers, as well as the US and the EU. Lukashenko has been in power for 26 years and is known for his authoritarian policies, including a crackdown on factions that oppose him or paint him in a bad light. Many staunch opposition leaders have either left the country in anticipation of being arrested or have already been arrested. Regardless, the weeks-long protests calling for Lukashenko to step down continue in the country’s capital of Minsk.