pcloudy.png
Thursday October 22nd, 2020 8:28AM

Students, IT workers keep pressure on defiant Belarus leader

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Hundreds of demonstrators rallied again in Belarus' capital Friday to protest the disputed reelection of the nation's authoritarian president, while police dispersed university students attempting to show solidarity with peers who were detained earlier in the week.

Information technology workers and other protesters formed “chains of solidarity” in various parts of Minsk to keep pushing for the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko, who extended his 26-year rule in an Aug. 9 election that the opposition challenged as rigged.

Belarusians have turned out in en masse for nearly four weeks to protest the official election results that gave Lukashenko a sixth term with 80% of the vote.

During the first few days of post-election protests, police detained nearly 7,000 people and beat hundreds, drawing international outrage and causing the anti-government demonstrations to swell. The government has since shifted tactics, seeking to squelch protests with threats, the selective detention of protesters and the prosecution of activists.

On Friday, police entered the State Linguistics University in Minsk to disperse an action by students who were expressing solidarity with classmates detained earlier. Officers rounded up several participants.

Belarusian authorities have specifically targeted members of the Coordination Council that opposition activists set up after the election to try to negotiate a transition of power. Two of its members were given 10-day jail sentences on charges of staging unsanctioned protests last week, and a court in Minsk handed them new 15-day sentences Thursday.

Earlier this week, six Belarusian journalists were detained while covering a student demonstration and charged with taking part in unsanctioned protests. During a Friday court hearing, police officers in ski masks testified against them via a video link. The journalists could get 15-day jail sentences, if convicted.

Authorities also have revoked the accreditation of many Belarusian journalists and deported some foreign journalists, including two Moscow-based Associated Press journalists. AP’s Belarusian journalists were among those told their press credentials had been revoked.

On Thursday, two popular TV anchors who resigned from state TV in solidarity with the protesters were handed 10-day sentences for taking part in unauthorized rallies.

“They beat journalists, they put them on trial, strip them of their credentials and deport them from the country,” Andrei Bastunets, head of the Belarusian Associaton of Journalists, told The Associated Press. “The law doesn’t work, they accuse journalists with cameras of coordinating the protests.”

The United States and the European Union have criticized the Aug. 9 presidential election as neither free nor fair and urged Belarusian authorities to engage in a dialogue with the opposition, a demand Lukashenko has dismissed.

Facing Western criticism, the Belarusian leader has sought to secure support from Russia, which has a union agreement with Belarus envisaging close political, economic and military ties. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he is ready to send police to Belarus at Lukashenko’s request if the demonstrations turn violent.

On a visit to Moscow on Friday, the Belarusian defense minister accused the West of waging a “hybrid war against the Belarusian state,” applying unprecedented diplomatic, political and economic pressure.

___

Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.

___

Follow AP's coverage of Belarus at https://apnews.com/Belarus

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP World News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Messi's father tells Spanish league his son is free to leave
Lionel Messi’s father has sent a letter to the Spanish league saying his son is free to leave Barcelona immediately without having to pay the $837 million buyout clause
9:19AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Students, IT workers keep pressure on defiant Belarus leader
Hundreds of demonstrators have rallied again in Belarus’ capital to protest the disputed reelection of the nation’s authoritarian president, while police dispersed university students attempting to show solidarity with peers who were detained earlier in the week
9:16AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Ships, copters fighting fire as tanker drifts near Sri Lanka
Ships and aircraft from Sri Lanka and India are intensified efforts to extinguish an oil tanker fire burning for a second day as officials warn of possible massive environmental damage to Sri Lanka’s coast if the ship leaks or explodes
8:53AM ( 44 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Pandemic politicking: Democrats at laptops. GOP at your door
Democrats are betting they can reach more voters without stepping outside while Republicans say political organizing in groups and face to face remains the better way, as both sides cope with reaching out to voters in the age of COVID-19
6:12AM ( 3 hours ago )
Report: Trump disparaged US war dead as 'losers,' 'suckers'
A new report details multiple instances of President Donald Trump making disparaging remarks about members of the U_S_ military who have been captured or killed, including referring to the American war dead buried in a cemetery in France as “losers” and “suckers.”
11:54PM ( 9 hours ago )
Judge bars Kanye West from appearing on Arizona’s ballot
A judge has barred Kanye West from appearing on Arizona’s Nov. 3 ballot
11:46PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Elections
Noem featured in South Dakota tourism ad airing on Fox News
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem got some extra air time on Fox News last week during the Republican National Convention, after the state ran a $819,000 taxpayer-funded ad promoting tourism
6:01PM ( 15 hours ago )
Leaders of Kosovo, Serbia at White House for economic talks
The U.S. has completed the first of two days of talks aimed at normalizing economic relations between Serbia and Kosovo where tensions remain high over thorny political issues
5:48PM ( 15 hours ago )
Biden, in Kenosha, hails fight for racial progress
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told residents in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that the police and protest violence their city has experienced in recent weeks can be part of an awakening that helps the United States finally confront centuries of systemic racism and social discord
4:54PM ( 16 hours ago )
General Presidential Election News
The Latest: Myrtle Beach, SC, extends virus mask mandate
A South Carolina beach town has renewed its mask mandate
8:18AM ( 1 hour ago )
2nd crew member, dead cows found after ship sinks off Japan
Japan's coast guard says rescuers saved another survivor after finding an unconscious crew member and multiple dead cows from a livestock ship that sank in stormy weather
7:59AM ( 1 hour ago )
Freight firms warn of Brexit disruption amid UK-EU deadlock
British freight haulers and storage companies are asking for an urgent meeting with government leaders because of concern that gaps in preparations for Brexit may threaten supplies of critical goods
7:22AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
Messi's father tells Spanish league his son is free to leave
Lionel Messi’s father has sent a letter to the Spanish league saying his son is free to leave Barcelona immediately without having to pay the $837 million buyout clause
9:19AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Ships, copters fighting fire as tanker drifts near Sri Lanka
Ships and aircraft from Sri Lanka and India are intensified efforts to extinguish an oil tanker fire burning for a second day as officials warn of possible massive environmental damage to Sri Lanka’s coast if the ship leaks or explodes
8:53AM ( 44 minutes ago )
UK urged to drop ex-Australia PM Abbott from trade envoy job
Prominent equality and environmental activists, including “Lord of the Rings” star Ian McKellen have urged the British government to drop plans to make former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott a U.K. trade adviser
8:49AM ( 49 minutes ago )
Federal task force kills Portland shooting suspect at arrest
A man suspected of fatally shooting a supporter of a right-wing group in Portland, Oregon, last week was killed late Thursday as a federal fugitive task force tried to arrest him
8:46AM ( 52 minutes ago )
NATO agrees Novichok used on Navalny, demands probe
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday condemned the “appalling assassination attempt” on Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and said Moscow must answer “serious questions” about the poisoning to international investigators
8:46AM ( 52 minutes ago )