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Belarus women form human chains in solidarity with protesters

The morning manifestation in downtown Minsk extended within the day into uptown Minsk, as well as into other cities

MINSK, August 12./TASS/. Women took to the streets of Belarusian cities on the fourth day after the presidential election and formed human chains in solidarity with the people detained or injured by the police during protests across the country, TASS reports.

In the morning, the manifestation was launched in central Minsk by women dressed in white and carrying flowers. According to media, they were joined within the day by residents of uptown Minsk, as well as residents of other cities - Grodno, Bobruisk, Smolevich and Smorgon. Its participants emphasize that the action is peaceful, saying that they are concerned about the developments of the past few days and would like to support those who were detained.

Like in the previous few days, four central subway stations were closed in Minsk by the evening, with trains making no stops there. Сity authorities say this is being done for safety reasons.

Meanwhile, the situation in Minsk remains tense with prison trucks parked off streets and rumors circulating that roads could possibly be blocked. Residents are afraid of more arrests and dispersals. Some eyewitnesses say this is already happening.

Belarus held the presidential election on August 9. After exit poll results were revealed late on August 9, suggesting Lukashenko’s landslide victory, many cities and towns across the country saw mass protests that in some cases escalated into clashes with the police. Protests continued Monday night into Tuesday morning and Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. At least one person was killed.

The country’s Interior Ministry said about 3,000 people had been detained while dozens of police officers and protesters were injured.

Preliminary results show incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko securing his reelection with 80.08% of the vote, while his main rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya received 10.09%. Tikhanovskaya challenged the results, refusing to recognize them. She also filed a complaint with the national election commission. Tikhanovskaya then left the country, remaining in Lithuania since Tuesday.