100,000 MARCH IN BELARUS, DEMAND ‘PRESIDENT SVETA’ BE INSTALLED
More than 100,000 people took to the streets across Belarus on Sunday for renewed protests against disputed President Alexander Lukashenko, in spite of a violent crackdown by the army and police, Claudia Thaler wrote for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
Demonstrations were staged with the goal of symbolically appointing the exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya as president at an "inauguration of the people."
"Sveta is our president," chanted those marching in the capital Minsk, while others shouted "Long live Belarus!" and "Eto nash gorod! ("This is our city").
The demonstrations were also held in response to Lukashenko's secretive inauguration on Wednesday, which spurred renewed support for daily protests, along with a more brutal response from state officials. Uniformed men in balaclavas were seen attacking demonstrators in the cities of Gomel and Grodno on Sunday's protests, the 50th straight day of unrest. Around 200 arrests were made nationwide in the early evening, the Interior Ministry said, with the number steadily rising.
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