PROTESTS IN BELARUS AS LUKASHENKO RIVAL IS FORCED TO FLEE
People took to the streets of Belarus for the third night in a row on Tuesday to protest the result of the weekend's presidential election that handed strongman Alexander Lukashenko yet another win, as his main challenger was detained and forced to flee to neighboring Lithuania.
There were reports on social media that security forces cracked down hard on peaceful protesters yet again. Videos showing uniformed men beating and kicking civilians were posted on the Telegramnews channel. It was unclear how many people were taken into police custody, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported on August 12, 2020.
Protests broke out across the country after the presidential election on Sunday. The anger of many people is directed against Lukashenko, who is clinging to power after 26 years in office. He has repeatedly threatened the use of the military. In total, more than 5,000 people have been arrested in the protests so far and two have been killed.
Prominent independent Belarusian news outlet Tut.by reported that Tikhanovskaya had been forced by Belarusian authorities to leave the country overnight in a deal to free her jailed campaign manager, Maria Moroz. Tikhanovskaya released a video posted by Tut.by on Tuesday in which she appeared visibly distressed. In another video, circulated on Twitter, Tikhanovskaya expresses acceptance of the official election results and calls for her supporters to refrain from participating in street protests. Twitter users said that Belarusian authorities had compelled Tikhanovskaya to make that statement.