More Than 1,000 Protesters Detained In Belarus After Police Crack Down, Killing A 31-Year-Old Teacher

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More Than 1,000 Protesters Detained In Belarus Demonstration After Police Crack Down, Killing A 31-Year-Old Teacher

More than 1,000 protestors have been arrested after demonstrations in Belarus calling for democracy. The demonstrations took on new urgency across the weekend following the death of an opposition activist. Roman Bondarenko, 31, was a teacher and was allegedly killed after a beating was carried out by plain-clothes policemen.

There have been extensive demonstrations across Belarus following this year’s general election which the opposition has claimed was rigged in favour of the ruling president Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the nation with an iron-fist since 1994. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the main opposition leader, who is now in exile, claimed she won around 65% of the vote, a claim that was dismissed by the ruling party. She wrote in response to the death of Bondarenko:

"Roman Bondarenko was killed by accomplices of the regime. He was an innocent victim of an inhumane system that considers people’s lives to be the cost of power. We all understand that any peaceful person could have ended up in his place."

There have been hundreds of allegations made against the police and security services in Belarus claiming that they have beaten and tortured demonstrators, a claim that has been backed up by evidence gathered by human rights organisations.

As with all previous protests the events were focused on Minsk, the capital of the nation. In the recent demonstrations video has emerged of police not only beating protestors but also firing at them with stun-grenades and rubber bullets. It is estimated that every Sunday since the disputed vote as many as 100,000 have walked the streets demanding electoral freedom and that human-rights be installed in a nation that is often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’.

The European Union and the United States have condemned both the recent elections as undemocratic and the crackdown on peaceful protests. The Belarus leadership is a key ally of Russia and some believe that Western powers see it as the last state to bring onside in Eastern Europe in an ongoing geo-political struggle with Russia. Ukraine was previously brought into the Western sphere of influence following the Ukrainian revolution in the mid-2010s.

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Thinking Humanity: More Than 1,000 Protesters Detained In Belarus After Police Crack Down, Killing A 31-Year-Old Teacher
More Than 1,000 Protesters Detained In Belarus After Police Crack Down, Killing A 31-Year-Old Teacher
More than 1,000 protestors have been arrested after demonstrations in Belarus calling for democracy. The demonstrations took on new urgency across the
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