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14 Aug 2020 | 04:19 AM UTC

Belarus: Workers strike nationwide as anti-government protests continue August 14 /update 16

Workers strike nationwide as anti-government protests enter sixth day as of August 14; avoid and large gatherings as precaution

sécurité
BLR

Event

Workers across Belarus are holding strikes on Friday, August 14, as protests continue denouncing President Alexander Lukasheko's re-election. Those striking include workers at the Azot plant in Grodno, Minsk Automobile Plant, and Salihorsk mine plant. Protests in Salihorsk have called for a protest at 17:00 (local time); however, protests are to be anticipated across Belarus in the coming hours and days.

Further opposition protests are to be expected in the near term. Protests are likely to be met with a strong response by security forces, with associated disruptions to transportation and business probable.

Context 

Election officials announced on Monday, August 10, that Lukashenko had won 80 percent of the vote in Sunday's poll, with the main opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanouskaya gaining 9.9 percent. Lukashenko faced few challenges to his sixth term as president, with his main rivals Valery Tsepkalo and Viktor Babariko being barred from standing. However, the run-up to the election saw increased political tensions and opposition protest activity. Opposition groups have denounced the election results as fraudulent.

Protests following the election have taken place throughout Belarus, with security forces blocking access to a number of cities as clashes with protesters were reported. Security forces have deployed tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, batons, and concussion grenades in attempts to disperse crowds.

Advice

Those in Belarus are advised to monitor the situation, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and refrain from discussing politically sensitive topics in public or on social media.

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