Tsikhanouskaya on weekend detentions: We have 200 new reasons not to stop until we win

The press service of former presidential candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya has published her statement on the detentions that took place at the weekend solidarity actions. About 200 people fell into the hands of law enforcement officers.

“All this weekend, Belarusians took to the streets for their heroes of change. For Ihar [Losik], who has been on hunger strike for more than 40 days, for 18-year-old Sofia [Malashevich], who was jailed for two years for one drawing on a shield. To Syarhei [Tsikhanouski], Maryia [Kalesnikava], Viktar and Eduard [Babaryka], who showed us how strong we can be. The Belarusians came out, even though they risked becoming political prisoners themselves.

On Friday, at the meeting of the UN Security Council, it was made clear to the regime that the violence must stop and the prisoners of conscience must be released without any conditions. But already on Saturday 156 people were detained, and on Sunday more than 40. I am sure this is just an excuse for the regime’s security forces to get new rewards. But for us it’s 200 innocent people arrested.

That’s 200 families who can communicate with their relatives only through letters and parcels.

These are 200 more Belarusians who have found out from their own experience that there is no law enforcement system in their country, only punitive one.

These are 200 people deprived of physical freedom for demanding freedom for their country.

It just so happens that this weekend, the people of Russia also took to the streets to support their heroes. They also took to the streets against violence – and faced violence in return. They took to the streets for their own reasons, but in solidarity, they took out Belarusian flags in Moscow, Khabarovsk, St. Petersburg and other cities.

This weekend has once again demonstrated that it is very difficult to resist the system of repression. But now we have 200 new reasons to speak even louder, to act even faster and not to stop until the victory,” said Tsihanouskaya.

On Saturday, January 23, there were protests in Russia against the arrest of opposition figure Alexei Navalny. Rallies were held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, and more than 100 other cities. All in all, tens of thousands of people took part in them. The number of detainees exceeded 3,000 people.

On the same day Belarusians joined rallies of solidarity with the Russian protesters. Human rights activists know about 156 people detained on January 23. It follows from Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s statement that at least 40 more people were detained the next day.