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  • Women protest by making a human chain, Belarus, August 13, 2020.

    Women protest by making a human chain, Belarus, August 13, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @Yaco_31

Published 13 August 2020
Opinion

Unrest was stoked when President Lukashenko disqualified demonstrators accusing them of being foreign-controlled "sheep."

Belarus' Interior Minister Thursday acknowledged the arrest of 700 people during the fourth consecutive day of protests against President Alexander Lukashenko, whom the citizens accuse of having cheated in the elections held on August 9, in which the opposition politician Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was the favorite candidate to win.

In Minsk, the country's capital, at least two people have died and dozens have been injured in the post-election unrest as the police have violently cracked down citizens.

Local media report that hundreds of women joined hands to form human chains, a symbol of protest seeking to contain the violence that has been unleashed.

The protests broke out after authorities claimed that Lukashenko had been re-elected for a sixth consecutive term with 80 percent of the citizens' votes.

Social unrest was stoked when the Belarusian President disqualified the demonstrators accusing them of being foreign-controlled "sheep", criminals, and unemployed. Since Sunday, at least 6,700 protesters have been detained. 

The presidential candidate Tikhanovskaya would have left the country on Tuesday to protect her family, as reported by the Irish outlet The Journal.

Taking advantage of the prevailing situation in this European country, President Donald Trump’s administration tries to achieve some geopolitical objectives.

In a tacit admission of this, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his country could impose sanctions against Belarus, although "we have not decided yet what the appropriate response is."

He added that the Trump administration was "incredibly troubled by the election and deeply disappointed that it wasn't freer and fairer."

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