Svitlana Chernykh

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People in Minsk protest results of the Aug. 9 Belarus presidential election on Aug. 24. (Tatyana Zenkovich/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko claimed reelection victory on Aug. 10, with 80 percent of the vote. Widespread protests in Minsk and other cities, as well as strikes, have continued since the election, with protesters declaring the election results fraudulent and demanding a new election.

The Belarusian government responded with violent repression, detaining and allegedly beating thousands of protesters. During the weekend, the government shut down media websites and newspapers, amid continued threats to escalate the crackdown on protesters.

Human rights organizations and outside observers have routinely accused Lukashenko’s regime of violating human rights and not holding free and fair elections. Lukashenko’s government jailed his challengers in the lead-up to the election, and the incumbent’s main challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya — a candidate for president and spouse of another jailed candidate — was forced to flee the country after the election.…  Seguir leyendo »