Situation in Belarus Escalates as UN Condemns the Crackdown

The United Nations has denounced the violent crackdowns against protesters in Belarus. The Interior Ministry and authorities have esteemed hundreds of arrests after the fourth night of marches, following the doubtful re-election of President Lukashenko.

Yesterday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet insisted that the Belarusian authorities immediately release all those who were illicitly incarcerated and to investigate human rights abuses.

Furthermore, a second protester has died after intense demonstrations and clashes with the police, the country's Investigative Committee announced in a statement. The 25-year-old man died in a hospital in the city of Gomel, after being detained during an "unauthorized demonstration", said the statement. The clashes have also left one person dead in the capital Minsk and police have stated that they have opened fire with live ammunition in Brest.

President Alexander Lukashenko has accused criminals and the unemployed for the mass protests, insisting those taking part in the demonstrations to "get a job".

"The core of these so-called protesters are people with a criminal past and (those who are) currently unemployed, […] Those who don't have a job, walk in the streets and avenues. That's why I'm kindly urging everyone who is unemployed to get a job," Lukashenko said yesterday, at a meeting with his Cabinet members.

Belarus' leading opposition candidate, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who took the candidature of her husband after he was detained by the regime, said on Tuesday that she has fled the country to Lithuania, for her own security and for that of her children in the wake of the elections.

The crackdown by Lukashenko’s government has drawn severe criticism from overseas.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the Belarusian vote was neither free nor fair. “We want the people of Belarus to have the freedoms that they’re demanding," said Pompeo.

EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell called the meeting of foreign ministers of the member states a day after saying that the 27-nation union could enforce sanctions against "those responsible for the observed violence, unjustified arrests, and falsification of election results.”


13 August 2020 17:07