Thousands of frustrated Belarusians took to the streets across the country to express their anger and disbelief at the re-election of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko. According to early results announced by the Central Election Commission (CEC), he gathered 80% of the vote.
Since 9 August, massive peaceful protests demanding fair election and honest count of the vote have been going on in cities (Minsk, Brest, Grodno, Mogilev, Gomel, Vitebsk, Polotsk) and towns (Lida, Pinsk, Baranovichi, Novopolotsk, Molodechno, Zhodino, Novogrudok and others) of Belarus.
They were met with extreme police brutality – riot police used flash grenades, rubber bullets, batons, water cannons and tear gas against the demonstrators. There were several reports about riot police using ambulances to ambush and detain the protesters.
More than 5,000 people (including pregnant women and minors) were arrested, the number of those who got injuried is unknown, one person died. On 11 August, tributes have been placed at the spot where the death happened. People who came to bring flowers to the site were arrested.
After disputing the election result with the CEC, Lukashenko’s main political rival, Svetlana Tikhanovksaya addressed her supporters asking them to stop protesting and said she left the country to protect her children.
Local and foreign journalists covering the events in the country were detained, their flash cards were taken away and photos deleted, some had their cameras and other gadgets broken. Several reporters were severely beaten and injuried.
Meanwhile, the internet has been shut down in the country for three days now, many remain unaware of what is going in the country.