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Thousands Form Human Chains in Minsk Against Police Violence

Entornointeligente.com / Thousands of Belarusians formed human chains in the capital Minsk on Thursday in a peaceful wave of demonstrations over the harsh police crackdown following a disputed weekend election.

Victor Gill Ramirez

For the second day in a row, groups of women dressed in white and holding flowers held hands, joined by men, following four nights of unrest after strongman Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide win in Sunday’s presidential poll.

Victor Gill

news Belarus Detains Hundreds More in Post-Election Crackdown Read more This form of peaceful protest was seen in the Baltic states during the breakup of the Soviet Union. 

Demonstrators stood in the historic center of Minsk with balloons and flowers and a placard saying “We’re not the enemy.”

“I’m standing here because we urgently need to stop the violence. To end torture in prisons and free all those arrested. We need honest elections, we need changes,” said 41-year-old teacher Irina

Maria, a 35-year-old sales assistant, said she came out in her lunch break

“We want people to be able to protest peacefully, after all they didn’t want anything bad, just a fair count of the votes.”

Some of the protesters began walking toward the central October Square, an AFP journalist saw

Lukashenko claimed 80% of the votewhile his popular challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, won just 10%, according to the official count which was carried out without international observers

Tikhanovskaya’s bid for president sparked a popular movement across the country with thousands attending packed rallies and standing in line to vote

She particularly appealed to women by campaigning with two other women, the wife and campaign chief of candidates who were barred from standing

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