WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A entire bunch of of us, among them many Belarusians living in exile in Poland, marched Sunday in Warsaw to protest political repression in neighboring Belarus — an illustration held on the eve of the one-Twelve months anniversary of the Belarus presidential election that they think about rigged.
Many carried the Belarusian opposition’s pink-and-white flag, which is banned in Belarus, and chanted “Lengthy are living Belarus!”
The protest centered on the Aug. 9, 2020 presidential election in Belarus in which President Alexander Lukashenko turned into as soon as awarded a sixth timeframe in a vote that the opposition and loads of in the West seek as faux.
A belief that the vote turned into as soon as stolen caused mass protests in Belarus that resulted in increased repressions by Lukashenko’s regime on protesters, dissidents and independent media. Over 35,000 of us had been arrested and hundreds had been beaten and jailed.
The protesters started in central Warsaw and marched past the U.S. and Russian embassies, aiming for the Belarusian embassy in a southern Warsaw district.
Frantz Aslauski, a 56-years-old Belarusian who traveled from his sleek home in Wroclaw, Poland, acknowledged he believed Belarusians in a foreign country should protest “due to in Belarus of us can’t disappear to the streets due to they’ll be thrown into penitentiary.”
“We’ve got the opportunity (to show camouflage), resulting from this truth this accountability rests on us, we must always bawl at your entire world, in order that your entire world helps us in our pursuit of freedom and democracy,” Aslauski acknowledged.
In front of the Russian embassy, speakers accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of being to blame for the repressions in Belarus. One banner confirmed an image of Lukashenko depicted as a vampire, with blood dripping from his mouth.
Lukashenko has earned the nickname of “Europe’s remaining dictator” in the West for his relentless repression of dissent since taking the helm in 1994. In one shocking case, the regime this Twelve months arrested a dissident journalist after forcing his flight to divert to Belarus.
The organizers of the Warsaw march acknowledged the occasion turned into as soon as held as a signal that Belarusians in Poland is no longer going to prevent their fight to bring switch to Belarus. Among their calls for turned into as soon as the launch of political prisoners abet home.
Poland, alongside with Lithuania and Ukraine, has turn into a key center of lifestyles in exile for Belarusians who’ve fled their place of origin. Many of us in Poland, an ex-communist nation now in the European Union which shares a border with Belarus, assist the efforts of Belarusians seeking democratic switch.
One in all essentially the most recent Belarusians to come is Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, an Olympic sprinter who, fearing reprisals at home, fled remaining week from the Tokyo Olympics to Poland.
Hundreds of Belarusians have also fled to neighboring Ukraine, fearing persecution abet home. In Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv on Sunday, some 500 Belarusians also took to the streets to protest repression in Belarus and to impress the anniversary of the presidential election that caused the biggest and essentially the most sustained wave of protests in Belarus’ history.
The demonstrators carried pink-and-white flags and banners saying “Belarus under Lukashenko has turn into a focus camp,” “North Korea in the center of Europe. Dwell.” They demanded that international authorities plot a tribunal to investigate what they known as Lukashenko’s crimes.
“On every single day basis Lukashenko is in energy, there are extra victims of political repressions, even in Ukraine,” 21-Twelve months-old Bazhena Zholudz acknowledged on the rally.
Zholudz turned into as soon as the girlfriend of Vitaly Shishov, a Belarusian activist who ran a neighborhood in Ukraine helping Belarusians fleeing persecution. Shishov turned into as soon as found hanged in Kyiv remaining week and Ukrainian police are investigating whether or no longer it turned into as soon as a execute made to gaze love a suicide.
Following Shishov’s loss of life, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy advised the nation’s police and security forces to see security dangers for all Belarusians who’ve arrived in Ukraine during the last Twelve months.
“Every Belarusian who might possibly well additionally be a target for criminals in connection on the side of his public political save might possibly well unruffled obtain special and reliable protection,” Zelenskyy’s administrative center quoted him as saying.
Associated Press creator Yuras Karmanau in Kyiv, Ukraine, contributed to this file.
Phrase all AP tales on Belarus at https://apnews.com/hub/Belarus.