Tens of thousands of Belarusian citizens took to the streets again on Sunday, demanding the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko who they believe manipulated the presidential elections. This is the fourth weekend in a row that protests exceeding 100,000 have gripped the country.
Lukashenko has ruled the country for 26 years and declared his own re-election on 9 of August with 80% of the vote. The Opposition leader was then forced into exile and mass demonstrations started in the capital Minsk and across the country.
The President responded by tear-gassing, arresting, detaining, and beating protestors en masse. Many journalists have been arrested, expelled or stripped of their credentials.
During this weekend’s protest, authorities sealed off streets in the capital to stop the progress of the people.
Lukashenko has refused to listen to the protestors and called them “rats”, “tricksters” and “traitors.”
Women, students, and members of the LGBTI community have also joined the protests indicating increase boldness against “Europe’s last dictator.”
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in his role as Chair of the OSCE has called on Lukashenko to engage in dialogue but so far, his requests have been ignored. No stranger to protests, last year the Albanian opposition and thousands of citizens protested against alleged election rigging by his Socialist Party.