Police Use Water Cannons on Belarus Protesters

October 04, 2020 03:33 PM
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Tens of thousands of people marching in Minsk, Belarus, were sprayed with water cannons, Sunday, October 4.  

Demonstrators took to the streets demanding political prisoners be freed, prompting police to turn water cannons on them. 

The march crowned a series of rallies in Belarus since an Aug. 9 election in which President Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory. His opponents say it was rigged to hand him a sixth term in power. 

The crowd, waving white flags with a red stripe, marched to the beat of drums towards detention centers where political prisoners were believed to be held, according to pictures and videos posted on social media. 

The European Union imposed sanctions against Belarus this week. 

The EU sanctions target some 40 Belarusian officials, but not Lukashenko, over what the group sees were flawed August elections and a tough crackdown on subsequent protests. 

The crisis has also raised the possibility of more sanctions against Moscow if it decides to offer a helping hand to Lukashenko.