Belarus: Demonstration against Lukashenko marks final day of opposition deadline
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Belarus: Demonstration against Lukashenko marks final day of opposition deadline

© Belga

Protestors staged yet another demonstration against Alexandre Lukashenko in Minsk on Sunday, the final day of an opposition ultimatum for the Belarus president to step down or face a general strike.

The opposition has been calling for the departure of 66-year-old Lukashenko, in power since 1994, following a presidential election held on 9 August and widely viewed as fraudulent.

However, the protest movement has come under constant pressure from the authorities, resulting in the detention of many of its leaders, while the others have fled into exile abroad.

Videos taken on Sunday by passers-by and relayed on local media showed law-enforcement forces being bussed in convoys towards the Minsk city centre in vehicles equipped with metal grilles.

As in other demonstrations over the past few weeks, gas stations in downtown Minsk were closed to dissuade people from joining in the protest, and mobile Internet services were limited.

Iconic opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa (38) this month issued an ultimatum to Lukashenko, giving him up to Sunday, 25 October, to resign. Otherwise, she said, she would call Belarusians out for a monster demonstration and a general strike.

Tikhanovskaïa, forced to flee Belarus after the August election, also called for an end to police pressure and the freeing of all political prisoners.

The Brussels Times