Authorities in Belarus have begun to release thousands of protesters who have been arrested since last Sunday’s election. With this, the authorities hope to end the days of protests.
About 6,700 people were arrested last week in protests against the president, Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko has been in power since 1994 and took victory in Sunday’s election with about 80 percent of the vote – a blatantly fraudulent result.
Days of mass protests were held after the elections, accompanied by violent clashes between security forces and protesters. Hundreds were injured and two people died.
The protesters said they were crammed into the cells and allegedly assaulted, but the government denies this. All detainees must be released on Friday morning.
EU ministers discuss sanctions against Belarus on Friday
On Friday, the foreign ministers of the EU member states will jointly discuss targeted sanctions against Belarus. This is because of the alleged electoral fraud, as well as the violence that has been used against protesters.
Estonia also wants to bring the matter to the attention of the United Nations Security Council.