Belarus's Interior Minister Hints At Use Of Lethal Force As Lukashenka Likens Protests To A 'Terrorist' Threat.

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

Belarus’s interior minister says security forces can use live fire against those participating in “sabotage or a terror attack,” as weeks of protests against strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka swell into a national strike.

The warning from Interior Minister Yury Karayev on October 28 comes a day after Lukashenka described strikes called by the opposition this week "the actions of organized criminal groups."

Lukashenka said the country was "starting to face terrorist threats," in reference to weeks of peaceful protests against his rule.
Karayev, who has been put under EU sanctions for his role in the brutal crackdown on protesters, said in an interview that weapons should not be used against peaceful protesters.

"[If] a person carries out sabotage or a terror attack, attacks police officers, of course they must be stopped via any means at a police officer’s disposal-- from physical force to combat weapons," he said.

Belarus has witnessed near daily protests since the country’s August 9 presidential election that Lukashenka, in power since 1994, claims he won by a landslide

The opposition and Western governments say the poll was rigged.

A violent crackdown by authorities has resulted in several deaths, hundreds of injuries, and more than 10,000 arrests. There have been widespread and credible reports of torture.

Thousands of workers at state-owned factories and private firms as well as students at universities across the Eastern European country have heeded a call from opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya to join a national strike after Lukashenka ignored a demand that he resign, halt a brutal crackdown on protesters, and free political prisoners by October 25.

Tsikhanouskaya said on October 28 that she was so far "satisfied" with a mass general strike launched on October 26, but suggested police intimidation and retribution against workers led to lower-than-expected mobilization.

With the Belarusian state controlling a large part of the economy, previous strikes in factories have not lasted, as workers have faced intimidation and threats of dismissal.

Speaking at a digital press conference following a meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide, Tsikhanouskaya described the strikers and protesters as "heroes."

She also pointed to "how violent riot police” behave, in explaining why the strikes have not been as "big as we expected."

On October 25, a demonstration brought an estimated 100,000 people together in Minsk, in the latest mass showing of popular discontent against Lukashenka.

Most of the country’s opposition leaders have been arrested or forced to flee, including Tsikhanouskaya. She left Belarus for Lithuania days after the vote amid threats against herself and her family.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Belarus Service, AFP, and Interfax

Цензор.НЕТ Вакцини і ліки для лікування коронавірусу можуть стати доступними у США вже наступного тижня. Цензор.НЕТ Вакцини і ліки для терапії COVID-19 у США можуть почати надходити вже на початку наступного тижня, заявив у вівторок американський президент Дональд Трамп.
Патріот Донбасу Модернізовані 3СУ-23-4М-А1 «Шилка»: Міноборони замовить дві партії для ЗСУ(фото, відео). Патріот Донбасу Міноборони збирається замовити дві партії модернізованих 3СУ-23-4М-А1 «Шилка». Перший контракт з ДП завод «Арсенал» за планом буде укладений вже в поточному році. Запис Модернізовані 3СУ-23-4М-А1 «Шилка»: Міноборони замовить дві партії для ЗСУ(фото, відео)спершу було опубліковано на Патріот Донбасу.
UAinfo Окупанти на Донбасі чотири рази порушили «тишу» , загинув боєць ЗСУ. UAinfo Упродовж минулої доби, 24 листопада, збройні формування Російської Федерації та її найманці чотири рази порушили досягнуті домовленості.
Главком Президентські вибори в Молдові: суд відхилив три скарги Додона. Главком Ігор Додон подав до судів відразу три скарги за підсумками виборів, але всі вони були визнані неприйнятними
Цензор.НЕТ У низці країн Європи фіксують рекордні показники добової смертності через COVID-19, однак темпи поширення інфекції знижуються. Цензор.НЕТ У низці країн Європи фіксують максимальні показники добової смертності серед інфікованих коронавірусом COVID-19, водночас спостерігається зниження темпів поширення інфекції, зокрема, у Франції та Великій Британії.
Related news

UN Concludes Kazakhstan Illegally 'Targeted' Defender Of Xinjiang Indigenous Groups.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has concluded that the Kazakh government violated international human rights law last year when it detained activist Serikzhan Bilash.


Kyrgyz Presidential Hopeful Japarov Defends Draft Constitutional Reforms.

Sadyr Japarov has defended proposed changes to the constitution that would give more powers to the president.


Jailed Russian Historian Dmitriyev Goes On Trial Again.

Russian historian Yury Dmitriyev, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison on a controversial child sexual-abuse charge that he and his supporters have rejected as politically motivated, has gone on trial on a new charge of producing child pornogra...

4 1

Russia's Investigative Committee Launches New Probe Against Jehovah's Witnesses.

Russia's Investigative Committee says it has arrested several Jehovah's Witnesses and carried out raids of their homes across the country.


Armenian Economy Minister Resigns As Government Faces Pressure Over Nagorno-Karabakh Truce.

Armenia's economy minister, Tigran Khachatrian, has tendered his resignation.


Kazakh Penitentiary Launches Probe After Inmate Video Alleges Widespread Torture.

A maximum security penitentiary in Kazakhstan’s central region of Qaraghandy has launched an inquiry after a video of an inmate, whose eyes and mouth were sewn partially closed.


Vaccination With Russia's Sputnik-V To Cost 'Less Than $20'.

The financial backers and developers of Russia's Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine say the two shots required to vaccinate one person will cost “less than $20” on international markets and will be free of charge for Russian citizens.

3 1

New Russian Bill Would Expand Internet Censorship, HRW Warns.

Human Rights Watch(HRW)is calling on the Russian parliament to dismiss a new bill giving authorities the power to block websites that have censored Russian state media content, saying it would increase censorship in Russia.

5 2

Minor Scuffles With Police As Elderly March In Support Of Belarus's Democracy Movement.

Several thousand pensioners in Belarus marched for an eighth-straight week in Minsk on November 23 to protest state violence against the country’s pro-democracy movement.

6 1

Trump To Roll Out Stiff Bond Requirements For Visitors From 'Overstay' Countries, Including Iran, Afghanistan.

Washington announced on November 23 that it will launch a six-month trial program next month to force visitors from about two dozen countries to post thousands of dollars in bonds before they enter the United States.

7 10