I am writing to you in the hope you can help bring attention to the current events in Belarus as Belarusians are fighting against the genocide executed by the current dictatorial government. The situation in Belarus has deteriorated. People are being beaten by the batons, shot with rubber bullets, pelted with tear gas and flash grenades, and hit by water cannons. Fueled by the widespread fraud by the Central Election Committee on election day, people in all cities and towns of Belarus are taking to the streets to protest. Protesters are met with brutal violence from riot police and military forces. The cities of Belarus look like war zones. Armored police and military vehicles are present. There are unconfirmed reports of army units being mobilized.
One death is confirmed by the Human Rights Watch Viasna (Spring). Other deaths have been reported by the Ministry of International Affairs. There are several reports of unconfirmed fatalities. In several instances, people were deliberately hit by moving police vehicles. A lot of people have been seriously injured by rubber bullets. The Belarusian Association of Journalists is certain that the police were aiming at journalists intentionally. There are anecdotal reports about snipers on the roofs of the building. Hundreds of people have been severely injured. The riot police are doing everything it can to force people out of the streets.
By the morning of August 10, the Human Rights Watch reported 213 (not a full count) detained people, 55 of them are independent observers detained outside of voting polls. People are being detained not only in Minsk but throughout the country, with protests in 33 cities and towns. By this time, the count of detained people will be much higher.
On August 9, 22 journalists were detained, local and foreign. Russian journalist from the channel Medusa was arrested, and one of the severely beaten.
According to the latest reports, the Ministry of International Affairs had started to prosecute 3000 criminal cases. Some criminal charges could bring from 8 to 15 years in prison.
There is an informational vacuum in the country. The internet is still shut down and Belarusian independent media is not accessible in the country. It is important to note that Belarusian authorities were discussing the internet shut down on election day weeks before the election. Only government-controlled TV stations disperse information. However, people still get some info from Telegram channels.
In this informational vacuum, Lukashenko claimed 80.23% of the vote, which is statistically impossible. This conclusion comes from the information provided by the “Honest People” campaign, pictures of the voting results reports posted in the Telegram channels, and the voting results abroad. According to the “Honest People”, Cikhanouskaya won the vote in 85 out of 126 polling places. Estimates of her percentage of the vote are ranging from 51 to 91%. This information was supplied by independent observes.
Additionally, the “Honest People” campaign is still receiving multiples statements/reports from members of voting committees about fraudulent activity in the voting places. According to information spread through Telegram channels and pictures of voting reports, some voting places have not announced the results and did not display a report, whereas some reports were displayed but not signed by the members of the committees (reports must be displayed for the public view at the voting place).
From broadcasted videos and reports we know that at some polling places people were chanting “Shame! Shame!” to the members of the voting committees after the results announcements at these particular voting places. There is no confidence in the official vote count. Considering the evidence from different sources we can certainly state that the official result of this election is rigged and unacceptable.
This presidential election Belarus 2020 is marked by an explosion of participation and record voter turnout (more than 80%), and an unprecedented level of voting fraud. The information vacuum created by the authorities is designed to keep Belarusians and the international community in the dark regarding ongoing and escalating human rights abuses.
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Belarusian people appeal to the international community to bring attention to the dangerous situation in Belarus.
Unarmed people are standing up to brutal force. We need your help!
I'm counting on you to help us make our voices heard. Help our hopes overcome our fears.
Information by Alex T
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