Authorities in Belarus have blocked an array of reports media web sites reporting on the nation shaken by two weeks of protests in opposition to authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.
The Belarusian Affiliation of Journalists stated Saturday that greater than 20 websites had been blocked, together with these of US-funded Radio Liberty and Belsat, a Polish-funded satellite tv for pc TV channel specializing in Belarus.
On Friday, the state publishing home stopped printing prime impartial newspapers the Narodnaya Volya and Komsomolskaya Pravda, citing gear malfunction.
Protests unprecedented in Belarus for his or her measurement and length broke out after the August 9 presidential election wherein official outcomes handed Lukashenko a sixth time period in workplace. Protesters allege the outcomes have been manipulated and are calling for Lukashenko to resign.
Police responded harshly within the first days of the protests, arresting some 7,000 individuals, beating lots of them.
However the protests have widened their scope, with strikes referred to as at a few of the nation’s essential factories.
In an unlimited present of defiance, an estimated 200,000 protesters rallied final Sunday within the capital, Minsk.
Lukashenko’s essential election challenger, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, referred to as for one more march this Sunday.
“We’re nearer than ever to our dream,” she stated in a video message from Lithuania, the place she took refuge after the election.
Public exhibits of help for Lukashenko, who has dominated Belarus since 1994, have been comparatively modest.
A rally in Minsk final Sunday attracted a couple of quarter as many individuals because the protest march.
On Saturday, solely about 25 individuals confirmed up for a bicycle journey meant to indicate help for the president.
Lukashenko in flip alleges that the protests are impressed by unnamed Western forces and that NATO is deploying forces close to Belarus” western border. The alliance firmly denies that declare.
On Saturday, Lukashenko renewed the allegation throughout a go to to a army train within the Grodno area, close to the borders of Poland and Lithuania.
“You see that they’re already dragging an ‘various president’ right here,” he stated, referring to Tsikhanouskaya.
Authorities on Friday threatened demonstrators with prison costs in a bid to cease the protests.
Investigators additionally summoned a number of opposition activists for questioning as a part of a prison probe right into a council they created with the aim of coordinating a transition of energy for the previous Soviet republic of 9.5 million.