Thousands of people took to the streets peacefully against ruler Alexander Lukashenko at a Sunday demonstration in Belarus. In the capital Minsk, demonstrators first gathered in their residential areas and then formed larger protest marches. Many wore the historic white, red and white flags when it snowed. There were many arrests, as shown by videos on the news channel Telegram. </p><div> <p>The Wesna Human Rights Center initially listed the names of 20 people arrested. Videos could be seen as people were dragged into minibuses by masked security forces. Officials followed protesters into the courtyards of residential complexes. Media reported the use of tear gas. People in other cities also called for Lukashenko's resignation.</p>
As on the previous Sunday, hundreds of uniformed men from the Ministry of the Interior and the army were out and about in Minsk. Videos showed prisoner trucks, water cannons and other heavy equipment on the streets of the capital. Security forces cordoned off large spaces with metal bars.
In addition, six metro stations in Minsk were blocked. The mobile internet was also largely switched off. The authorities wanted to make it more difficult to meet at meetings. There were also reports that some neighborhoods were without electricity.
Since the presidential election on August 9, Belarus has been in a serious domestic political crisis. The 66-year-old Lukashenko had been declared the winner with 80.1 percent of the votes. The EU no longer recognizes him as president.
The opposition sees civil rights activist Svetlana Tichanovskaya as the real winner. The civil rights activist, who fled to the EU country Lithuania, said in advance in a video message that the people in Belarus had “already walked a difficult path together”. They had seen terrible violence and inhumanity and, in contrast to the “regime”, remained themselves.
<span class="article__source"> Quelle: What / Dpa </span> </div>