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Belarus: Hundreds detained following Lukashenko’s surprise inauguration 01:46

Belarus: Hundreds detained following Lukashenko’s surprise inauguration

Belarus, Minsk
September 24, 2020 at 10:04 GMT +00:00 · Published

Hundreds were detained on Wednesday in the Belarusian capital Minsk and other cities as people took to the streets following the inauguration of President Alexander Lukashenko.

"A total of 364 citizens were detained yesterday for violation of legislation on mass events, 252 of them in Minsk," the Belarusian Interior Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the ministry, 59 unsanctioned demonstrations took place in the country after Lukashenko’s unannounced inauguration.

Belarus has been rocked by a major political crisis following the re-election of Lukashenko as head of state in August, an outcome which sparked mass protests across the country and concerns over human rights abuse from the UN, the EU, and various other organisations.

Following Wednesday’s inauguration, Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, as well as the authorities of Germany, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, refused to recognise Lukashenko as the head of the republic.

The EU has earlier said it does not recognise Lukashenko as a legitimately installed leader.

Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitri Peskov on Wednesday declined to comment on the inauguration, saying it was “an absolutely sovereign, internal decision of the Belarusian leadership.”

According to official figures, more than 6,700 people have been detained in Belarus since the beginning of the protests.

Belarus: Hundreds detained following Lukashenko’s surprise inauguration 01:46
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Hundreds were detained on Wednesday in the Belarusian capital Minsk and other cities as people took to the streets following the inauguration of President Alexander Lukashenko.

"A total of 364 citizens were detained yesterday for violation of legislation on mass events, 252 of them in Minsk," the Belarusian Interior Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the ministry, 59 unsanctioned demonstrations took place in the country after Lukashenko’s unannounced inauguration.

Belarus has been rocked by a major political crisis following the re-election of Lukashenko as head of state in August, an outcome which sparked mass protests across the country and concerns over human rights abuse from the UN, the EU, and various other organisations.

Following Wednesday’s inauguration, Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, as well as the authorities of Germany, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, refused to recognise Lukashenko as the head of the republic.

The EU has earlier said it does not recognise Lukashenko as a legitimately installed leader.

Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitri Peskov on Wednesday declined to comment on the inauguration, saying it was “an absolutely sovereign, internal decision of the Belarusian leadership.”

According to official figures, more than 6,700 people have been detained in Belarus since the beginning of the protests.

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