02:28 GMT26 October 2020
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    Mass opposition protests broke out across Belarus following the presidential election on 9 August, which saw President Alexander Lukashenko re-elected for a sixth term. While electoral authorities maintain that Lukashenko collected over 80 per cent of the vote, the opposition insists that his key contender, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, won the election.

    The United States, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the European Union have issued a statement calling on Belarus to cease violence and threats of using military force against the Belarusian people.

    Earlier, President Lukashenko's supporters gathered on Saturday for a car rally in the capital city of Minsk. The press secretary of the president, Natalya Eysmont, has taken part in the event.

    The Belarusian Interior Ministry said on Friday that a total of 37 hotbeds of citizens' political activity with a participation of approximately 5,000 people were registered in the country on 27 August.

    A wave of mass opposition protests has swept across Belarus in the wake of the 9 August presidential election that saw incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko re-elected for a sixth term. While electoral authorities maintain that Lukashenko collected over 80 percent of the vote, the opposition insists that his key contender, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, won the election.

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    • 15:51

      Russian Reporters Return Home After Expulsion From Belarus - Ambassador

      MINSK, (Sputnik) - Russian journalists working for foreign media, whose accreditation was halted by the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, have returned to their homeland, Russian Ambassador to Minsk Dmitry Mezentsev said on Saturday.

      Earlier in the day, the press service of the Russian embassy in Minsk said that Belarusian authorities withdrew the accreditation of four journalists holding Russian citizenship and working for Western media outlets and expelled them.

      "The mission's diplomats, who provided consular support to our compatriots, ensured their transfer to Russia, and they have just reported that they crossed the state border", Mezentsev told reporters.

    • 15:50

      Union Calls for Fast-Tracked Accreditation of Foreign Journalists in Belarus

      MINSK (Sputnik) - The Belarusian Union of Journalists demanded on Saturday that the government streamline accreditation of foreign media workers after many reporters were stripped of their right to cover the unrest in the country.

      "We insist on fast-tracking the process of accrediting our foreign colleagues to avoid hurdles … so as not to impair the foreign media coverage of Belarus", a statement seen by Sputnik said.

      The union said it supported a transparent, competitive and ethically responsible media coverage and hoped that the "re-accreditation" would allow Belarusian and foreign reporters to resume their work soon.

    • 15:38

      Hundreds of Women Protest Against Police Brutality in Belarusian Capital

      Protests in Minsk

      Hundreds of Women Protest Against Police Brutality in Belarusian Capital

      MINSK (Sputnik) - Up to 1,000 protesters, most of them women, gathered in the centre of the Belarusian capital on Saturday to protest against police violence during anti-government rallies throughout the country.
      Read more
    • 12:26

      US Embassy in Belarus Calls for an End to Detention of Journalists and Blocking Internet Access

      "We stand with the Belarusian people in their aspirations for a democratic, prosperous future and support their call for the Government of Belarus to carry out democratic reforms and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms. We stand by our long-term commitment to support Belarus’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the aspirations of the Belarusian people to choose their leaders and to choose their own path, free from external intervention", the embassy said in a statement.

    • 11:13

      US and Europe Urge Minsk to End 'Violence and Repression'

      "We condemn the disproportionate use of force and urge the Belarusian authorities to stop the violence and the threats to use military force against the country’s own citizens and release immediately and unconditionally all those unlawfully detained. Intimidation and prosecution based on political grounds need to stop. We call on the Belarusian authorities to respect the country’s international obligations on fundamental democratic and human rights. We expect a complete and transparent investigation into all alleged crimes and abuses in order to hold those responsible to account. Only this will pave the way for a peaceful resolution of the crisis based on an inclusive national dialogue", the statement published on the UK government official site read.

    • 10:32

      Belarusian Interior Ministry Says 32 People Arrested During Unauthorised Rallies on Friday

      MINSK (Sputnik) - A total of 32 people were detained during unauthorised demonstrations across Belarus on Friday, the country's Interior Ministry said, adding that protests were uncrowded.

      The ministry stated that a total of 42 hotbeds of citizens' political activity were registered in the country on 28 August.

      "As for the protests, they were not crowded. The most active of them were traditionally held in Minsk ... A total of 32 people were detained [and will remain in custody] until court hearings on administrative violations", the ministry wrote on its Telegram channel.

      The largest demonstrations were held in Minsk — a rally near the National Academic Janka Kupala Theater gathered about 200 people, while up to 90 protesters gathered on Independence Square.

    • 10:31

      Belarus Halts Accreditation of 10 More Journalists Working for Foreign Media

      MINSK (Sputnik) - The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) said on Friday that 10 more reporters working for foreign media outlets were stripped of their accreditation by the country's Foreign Ministry.

      Earlier in the day, the press service of the Russian embassy in Minsk said that Belarusian authorities withdrew the accreditation of four journalists holding Russian citizenship and working for Western media outlets and expelled them.

      According to BAJ, the affected journalists include two BBC reporters, four Radio Svaboda reporters and journalists from Reuters, Associated Press, Deutsche Welle and RFI.

      On Friday, the Belarusian Interior Ministry confirmed that the police detained about 50 journalists of both Belarusian and foreign media during an unauthorized rally held on Thursday. Most of them were subsequently released. The ministry added that one of them faced charges in an administrative case and one foreign journalist "was voluntarily expelled from the country."

    Tags:
    Minsk, Alexandr Lukashenko, Belarus
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