Retirees protest Belarus leader on 100th day since vote
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The retiree crowd marched in Minsk on Monday, marking 100 days after the outbreak of mass demonstrations and being an almost everyday aspect of life in the country following the sixth term of the authoritarian President, Alexander Lukashenko.
It has been reported that more than 2,000 pensioners have joined in the protest, asking for Lukashenko's downfall and an end to aggressive governmental disagreement.
They wore red and white flags and roses, which were icons of rebellion.
"The disgrace is remembered by you and my children, Lukashenko" said one of the banners that the retirees wear.
After the 9-August referendum, these demonstrations have stirred Belarus with a smashing triumph over Lukashenko's famous rival, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.
The vote was rife with bribery and her followers failed to accept the results.
The Opposition transforms thousands into daily protests, whilst the government utilizes arrests and other violence to put down all challenges to Lukashenko's 26-year grip on power. It appears like all groups have been enclosed into an ongoing loop of dissent and crackdown.
The opposition did not initiate a national protest, while students boycotted classes for a few days.
The most peaceful protests, which drew 200,000 citizens, were heavily targeted by authorities. Authorities.
The police used stun bombs, tear gas and truncheons to scatter and seize thousands of them, violently beating dozens.
About 19,000 people have been jailed since the referendum, according to human rights defenders.
It is confirmed that at least four people died from the repression.
Pensioners in Minsk Monday marched to represent Raman Bandarenka, a 31-year-old member of the opposition who died last week when the security forces allegedly attacked him.
"Why (Raman) was he murdered?
"They sang, asking that his death be prosecuted criminally.
The police did not intervene with the march but on Sunday, in remembrance of Bandarenka, disrupted the rally with stun bombs, lacerated gas and clubs and beat demonstrators in shops and restaurants, fleeing from the repression.
The Ministry of the Interior reported more than 700 persons in custody throughout the world on Sundays, while the Viasna Centre for Human Rights reported 1,291.
International indignation resulted from the continuing clampdown.
Lukashenko and several dozen officials were sanctioned in earlier this year by the European Union and denounced again after Bandarenka died.
The Belarussian authorities were accused of "brutal police violence" by Steffen Seibert, German Chancellor's Speaker Angela Merkel.
"This must be over," he said The German government will not overlook the fact that people in the streets are being mistreated almost every day and we will not forget those who are kidnapped every day and exposed behind prison walls to even worse abuse."
After fleeing Belarus for their safety, Tsikhanouskaya, who was in Lithuania's exile, called for "act more rapidly."
She tweeted on Monday, "Belaruans need support right now.
"Expand (and) place economic limits on the sanction list.
Enable them (and others that have been repressed.
Help the media (and the guardians of human rights.
Avoid spending in state-owned banks and undertakings.
Begin foreign inquiry and court," she wrote.