Protests in Belarus: 7 thousand detainees, female human chains, support from the US diaspora
For the fourth night in a row, protests were held in Belarus, they ended without an extreme confrontation with the security forces, writes BBC Live... On August 12, women in different cities of the country formed living chains and sang lullabies near the monuments. TV presenters were fired from state channels, and military personnel and police officers threw uniforms and insignia into garbage cans.
The fourth day of protests: highlights
- In the afternoon of August 12, women took to the action in Minsk and other cities of the country - they formed human chains. Such chains were also created on the morning of August 13. Also, the action of doctors at the medical university took place.
- In the evening, the protesters had a new tactic - to try to block the roads. But it turned out with varying degrees of success. People tried to build live chains at pedestrian crossings to block traffic. But soon the chains were scattered.
- Security officials used special equipment much less. The explosions of flash-banged grenades were heard only a few times in Minsk.
- They were detained mainly pointwise.
- The day was characterized by the departure of several journalists from the Belarusian state television channels. One of them admitted that it became difficult for him to smile on the morning broadcast, because this smile looks blasphemous.
- A large number of videos have also appeared of former (and one current) military and policemen throwing their uniforms into trash cans.
Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus: 700 people detained in Minsk overnight
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus announced that on the night of August 13, about 700 people were detained for participating in unauthorized mass events.
It turns out that, according to official data, almost 7 people have already been detained since the beginning of the protests in Belarus.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus believes that “the riots in the country have lost their mass character, but the level of aggression towards law enforcement officers remains high.” As a result of clashes with protesters from 9 to 13 August, 103 law enforcement officers were injured, of whom 28 were hospitalized.
“Yesterday in Minsk and in Baranovichi deliberate raids on traffic police officers were again committed. Law enforcement officers used weapons to stop the violators, ”said Olga Chemodanova, press secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in her telegram channel.
Preliminary official election results
At about 13:00 on August 13, the CEC of Belarus published the preliminary official results of the elections in Minsk: Lukashenko - 64,49%, Tikhanovskaya - 14,92%.
The head of the precinct commission admitted that Lukashenka’s victory was “painted”
On Wednesday evening, August 12, Radio Liberty published a commentary by Sergei Pitalenko, the head of one of the precinct commissions in Vitebsk, who admitted that the protocol had been rewritten in favor of Alexander Lukashenko, writes Air force.
A few days earlier, an audio recording was posted on the network, in which one can hear how, under pressure from the alleged chairman of one of the regional administrations, the Vitebsk members of the election commission rewrote the protocol so that Alexander Lukashenko received the majority of votes.
The chairman of this commission, in an interview with reporters, confirmed that the recording is genuine. According to him, the members of the commission were forced to enter the numbers that were dictated to them in the protocol.
“Everything is twisting very seriously. Who knows how it will end ... Let's see how events will unfold, whether it will hurt me or somehow manage, ”said Pitalenko.
Women's living chains and lullabies at the monuments
Most of the protests take place in Belarus at night, but on August 12, notable actions took place during the day: in Minsk, in particular, a women's protest action took place. The girls, dressed in white and holding flowers, gathered and stood silently holding hands - in this way they expressed their protest against the violence during the demonstrations.
Belarusians against violence, walking with flowers pic.twitter.com/Ibgq4h4iI0
- Tea with varennem (@belteanews) August 12
One of such actions took place near the Komarovsky market: about 200 women in white clothes lined up in a human chain. The action lasted for about an hour, writes Air force.
- typical Ivanovo (@AA_Sergeev) August 12
But she was not the only one - the processions and standing of women lasted all day and took place throughout Minsk.
About 200 participants went to the Minsk Victory Square and laid flowers at the Eternal Flame. Barefoot women sang the lullaby "Kalyhanka".
Barefoot women from Minsk sang the lullaby "Kalyhanka" on Victory Square. Women with flowers continue to protest against the violence of the security forces pic.twitter.com/aKTnumTbka
- Lenta.ru (@lentaruofficial) August 12
People also came to the Pushkinskaya metro station, where on the night of Tuesday, August 11, there were serious clashes between demonstrators and the police.
According to the TUT.by portal, in Smolevichi, Mogilev and Vitebsk, the police detained women for trying to line up in a chain and speak out against violence.
In Mogilev, four girls were detained, in Bobruisk - one young man who came out to the action in a T-shirt with a white-red-white flag, a symbol of the protesters.
On a separate action on Wednesday, August 12, more than two hundred medical workers, who gathered near the medical university in Minsk, came out: in their hands they held posters with the words “Medics against violence” and “Stop the violence”.
Toward evening, according to local media, the protesters dispersed - there is no information about the detainees among them.
The head of the Belarusian Ministry of Health commented on the action as follows: “It is sad to see how a clearly orchestrated event is being passed off as a protest action by doctors, which arose spontaneously.”
On the subject: Protests in Belarus: police opened fire on people to kill
Open letter of scientists and teachers of Belarus
More than 600 scientists and teachers of scientific institutions of Belarus signed an open letter in which they called for the release of all those detained during the protests in recent days.
“We, citizens of the Republic of Belarus, are shocked by the events of the past few days,” the appeal says.
“We do not trust the officially announced election results and are deeply dissatisfied with the way they were organized and conducted,” the subscribing scientists say.
Dismissals of state television journalists
On Wednesday, August 12, it became known about the dismissal of several journalists from the state television of Belarus.
Among them is the famous TV presenter of the Belarus 1 channel Yevgeny Perlin. On his Instagram, he wrote “What happened to my Belarus?” and said that he had worked on his last broadcast on the TV channel.
The oppositional Belarusian media called him a propagandist, and last year Perlin said: “Of course, I believe in what I say in the news, otherwise, apparently, I would not read this news.”
In addition, Olga Bogatyrevich, a journalist from the ONT state channel, wrote a letter of resignation.
“We are few, but we are,” she wrote on her Instagram.
The same decision was announced by the host of the military program “Arsenal” on the channel “Belarus 1” Vladimir Burko. According to him, for the last five years he was “the media person of the Belarusian Defense Ministry”.
“I hope you will make the right decision, which we, Belarusians, will be proud of,” he said, addressing the Belarusian military.
Yesterday I quit the police, today they are already on trial
Police captain Yegor Yemelyanov, who publicly resigned amid protests after the presidential elections, was detained in Novopolotsk. This was reported by the journalists of Nasha Niva with reference to the officer's wife Marina.
“He was called from work. They told him to come and sign the documents, the acceptance certificate form. Close the issue promptly. We were in touch, planning a family dinner that day. At 17:55 pm I called him, he was still in the department. At 19:55 I called again, wanted to agree on who would take our youngest daughter, she is three years old. He said he was detained. For what? He said he didn’t know yet, ”said his wife.
According to information that Marina has, her husband is charged with Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code of Belarus (violation of the order of organizing or holding mass events). The woman later told the BBC that on the morning of August 13, the judge released her husband and the family was waiting for him to return home.
The day before, the policeman published the following post on his Instagram:
His example was followed by special forces, policemen and other military personnel:
- Ola Chesare (@olachesare) August 12
- Lily (@ wp_t2) August 12
American University student detained in Minsk
At about 13 am on August XNUMX, a student of the American University Stas Gorelik was detained in Minsk and taken away in an unknown direction. At that moment, his girlfriend, a US citizen, Marisa Durham, was with him. The BBC Russian service contacted her, and this is what she said:
“We were already asleep. Suddenly, at one o'clock in the morning, someone knocked loudly on the door. They said, "Open up, this is the police." Stas told me to sit in the bedroom and went to the door. He decided not to open it. But after a few minutes, these people just broke into our apartment. They were armed, one in his hands was a machine gun. I think they were from the KGB.
They put a blanket over my head and told me not to move. And Stas was taken to another room. It's hard for me to say what happened there. Later, I saw blood on the floor of that room. Stas was taken away in an unknown direction.
We did not participate in any way in the protests that are now taking place in Minsk. Stas is a citizen of Belarus, but studies at George Washington University. Now he is writing a dissertation on Armenia, and had to go there to research his topic. But due to the coronavirus epidemic, he did not receive a visa, so he was in Minsk. And I came to him ”.
Protest action of the Belarusian diaspora in Washington
The Belarusian diaspora of the United States held a protest in the center of Washington. The protesters are convinced that Alexander Lukashenko lost the presidential election, writes "Voice of America".
The Belarusians living in the United States called on their former compatriots to declare a general strike.
“Don't go to work for one or two days, that will make a difference,” says activist Polina Usovich. - No need to sit in a warm place when people are dying around. There are already beaten guys who just sat in a cafe and drank coffee. I beg you, well, he won't fire everyone! "
Belarusians came to the action from different parts of the United States. They are convinced that the presidential elections in Belarus were dishonest.
“When I heard about the protest action in Washington last night, I took a bus and arrived at night, I didn’t even sleep,” activist Kateryna Pavlyuchenko commented.
The purpose of the action is to draw attention to the massive repressions against protesters in Belarus. The protesters say that they cannot calmly look at what is happening in their home country.
“People were forced, as I heard here, to live in three states,” explains Katerina. - Either ignore what is happening, or resist and suffer some losses, depriving of freedoms and jobs, or leave for another country.
Ukrainians and Russians living in the USA came to support the Belarusians. They declared their support for democratic changes in Belarus.
“I believe that Belarus will win,” says activist Yelizaveta Kochan from Russia. - Because Lukashenka has to leave. And this can inspire Russia with a real example that the struggle can be successful. "
According to exit polls, the Belarusian diaspora in the US supported the opposition candidate at the elections. According to a poll of voters at a polling station in Washington, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya received 98% of the vote. The protesters are convinced that Alyaksandr Lukashenka lost the presidential elections and must leave.
Lukashenko spoke about the protesters
On August 12, Alexander Lukashenko convened a meeting on security and protection of the constitutional order, at which he spoke about the protesters as follows:
“The backbone of all these so-called protesters are people with a criminal past who are unemployed today. In an amicable way, I ask and warn everyone: get a job for those who do not work. "
“It is clear from the situation that the most important tasks facing the authorities now, in particular the Security Council, and perhaps above all, are ensuring the safety of our citizens, protecting the constitutional order, ensuring the normal functioning of state governing bodies,” Lukashenko said.
“Everyone who wants to work, who wants to work, must have a job and, accordingly, a salary. Everyone who does not work today should be studied and they should be offered work, ”Lukashenka added.
Lukashenka began the government meeting on August 13 with a discussion of the problems of energy and petrochemistry in Belarus.
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