Monday, September 21, 2020

Belarus uses special forces to deal with growing protests

President of Belarus Aleksander Lukashenko has ordered to use elite Alpha Group to deal with growing nationwide protests after Sunday’s re-election.

An elite unit of the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus was spotted in the central areas of the Minsk on the evening Monday. The Alpha Group fighters were armed with live-fire weapons.

The main task of the Alpha Group was designed to localize and prevent terrorist and extremist actions and other particularly dangerous manifestations. Among the main tasks of the unit are the detention of persons suspected of committing such crimes as espionage, hostage-taking, drug trafficking, smuggling, arms trafficking.

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Clashes between security forces and protesters again broke out in central Minsk following a planned opposition rally attended by thousands of activists, with police reportedly using tear gas, water cannon, and stun grenades to disperse crowds.

Riots erupted across the country after the Central Election Commission in Belarus gave the victory to Lukashenko.

State agency Belta reported on Monday the incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko had secured 80.23% of the vote, while election officials said his main opponent Tsikhanouskaya, a former teacher, received just 9.9%.

Protests in Belarus capital Minsk and other cities continued to explode this Sunday. Police arrested well over three thousand people nationwide, and shootings at demonstrations left several people injured and one person reportedly had been killed after a police van rammed into a demonstrator in Minsk. Currently, thousands of people disagreed with the election results again took to the streets of cities, they flooded the streets in opposition to election results that indicate longtime authoritarian leader Lukashenko had secured the win.

Amnesty International’s delegates in the Belarusian capital Minsk witnessed appalling violence unleashed by riot police on peaceful protesters who took to the streets last night after official announcements on election results, which protesters view as rigged.

“Post-electoral violence by police has become a regular feature of politics in Belarus, where all forms of peaceful dissent are brutally suppressed. Last night Amnesty International delegates witnessed first-hand the viciousness of the police response, which included indiscriminate use of force, including stun grenades, against a peaceful crowd, and arbitrary arrests of individuals who were far from any protest,” said Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

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Executive Editor

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