And there are detentions. Moreover, massive detentions. First of all, they relate to opponents of Alexander Lukashenko in the upcoming presidential election.
Elections are scheduled for August 9th. At the same time, as many people noted, it was almost the first time that Lukashenko had quite serious potential opponents from the opposition camp.
So far, it looks like the opponents have appeared, and they can "disappear" in the pre-trial detention center or in the pile of criminal cases that are already being opened against them. And this is the first feature of this campaign.
Detentions and criminal cases against opposition members
In general, a sufficient number of potential opposition candidates were expected to run for president (apparently, due to the fact that the opposition could not agree on a single candidate).
We will single out two, who, perhaps, can be called the main ones.
The first is Viktor Babariko.
Former Chairman of the Board of Belgazprombank. Well, he has already been detained. His son Edward was also detained.
The State Control Committee reported that Babariko-father "was detained because of an attempt to influence witnesses and conceal evidence of a crime."
The oppositionist stopped contacting friends immediately after he went to hand over the next part of the signatures collected for registration by the presidential candidate.
According to the partner of Babariko, he was sent to the KGB pre-trial detention center. He is accused of tax evasion.
Prior to this, KGB had searched the head office of Belgazprombank in Minsk and opened a money laundering and tax evasion case. Former and current bank employees were detained.
The second is blogger Sergey Tikhanovsky.
Who also wanted to participate in the elections, but was detained on May 29.
Now he is in pre-trial detention center-1 in Minsk. A case under part 1 of art. 342 of the Criminal Code ("Organization and preparation of actions grossly violating public order") is opened against him.
Recently it became known about another criminal case. Now "for obstructing the election."
On Sunday, June 21, Radio Liberty, citing information from human rights defenders, reported that Tikhanovsky’s detention in a punishment cell had been prolonged until June 26.
It is worth recalling that in May the CEC refused to register his initiative group, because Tikhanovsky was serving an administrative arrest and could not personally file an application.
Instead, his wife Svetlana Tikhanovskaya registered as a candidate for the presidency.
Protests and detentions
Many Belarusians did not like the detention of oppositionists. And they went out to protest. But the protests were followed by mass detentions.
According to DW, last weekend rallies were held in Minsk and other cities of Belarus in support of alternative candidates for the presidency. At least 100 people were detained, including journalists and foreigners.
Signatures for alternative presidential candidates were massively collected in Belarus. Alternative to Alexander Lukashenko, of course. Several members of the initiative groups were detained.
But what about Lukashenko? He is angry.
Lukashenko is angry
And he is not polite in relation to his rivals. Here are just a few sayings:
“We know the goals that individual liars are pursuing here. These goals are clear to us: to arrange a Maidan on the eve of the presidential election or on the day of the presidential election. So they planned ... I want to warn you at this meeting and everyone who hears us. I want to warn that there will be no Maidan in Belarus. "
“If we hadn’t cut wings of these thieves during these years of independence, today we would have built an oligarchic state and would have been on our knees. Therefore, look at it calmly and don’t think that someone is using it for political purposes. There is no such need in Belarus - use something for political purposes, "Lukashenko said after the detention of Babariko.
And he called "not to succumb to the tricks of three or four of some charlatans."