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Belarus protests death toll may be higher than official numbers — UN expert

There is unconfirmed data that there are at least five casualties overall on top of those missing, the UN special rapporteur told TASS

UNITED NATIONS, August 14. /TASS/. The number of casualties in the Belarusian protests may be higher than the official data provided by the government, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus Anais Marin told TASS on Friday.

On Monday, Belarusian Interior Ministry Spokesperson Olga Chemodanova informed of one person killed during the protests. According to the ministry, the man died after an unidentified explosive went off in his hand.

"We know of two people killed, however, there are unconfirmed reports of at least four more casualties," Marin said.

"But I would like to remind you there are many people missing. Families that have not heard of their loved ones for several days have reached out to me. People have simply disappeared and so far, it is unclear where they are," she added.

According to the UN expert, the search for missing persons "is becoming more chaotic due to Internet outages." "Of course, a transparent investigation is needed. I cannot say so far whether the Belarusian government can ensure it," she concluded.

Belarus held a presidential election on August 9. According to the final results provided by the Belarusian Central Election Commission on August 14, incumbent President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko got 80.1% of the vote. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who was considered his main opponent, came in second with 10.12%.

After exit poll results were announced in the evening of August 9, protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other regions of the country, leading to clashes between protesters and the law enforcement. The protests continued over the following days. As a result, several thousand people were detained while dozens of police officers and protesters were injured.