Tsikhanouskaya stepping up demands: Lukashenka may face People’s Ultimatum

On Tuesday, Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya and her team have published the text of People’s Ultimatum they are going to issue to Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Belarusian officials:

“We have said more than a few times that we are ready for dialogue and negotiations. But holding talks [with opponents] behind bars is not a dialogue. Getting people beaten straight after expressing readiness for negotiations is not a dialogue. Two months of political crisis, violence and lawlessness have passed, and we have enough of it,” Tsikhanouskaya said on Telegram.

They strongly urge the regime to fulfil the following demands in the near future: Lukashenka’s announcing his resignation; putting an end to police violence in the streets; releasing all political prisoners.

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“If our demands have not been met by October 25, the entire country will take to the streets to peacefully deliver People’s Ultimatum; on October 26, all enterprises will start striking, all roads will be blocked, there will be a massive drop in state shops’ sales. You have 13 days to fulfil three conditions. We have 13 days to get ready; and Belarusians will continue their peaceful and persistent protest during this period of time.”

On October 11, around 100,000 people showed up at the March of Honour in the Belarusian capital and other cities and towns. According to human rights centre Viasna, over 600 persons were detained throughout Belarus. The participants in Sunday’s March were facing inexorable pressure from siloviki: water cannons, tear gas, flashbang grenades, rubber bullets were used against them.

A day later, several hundred senior citizens took to Minsk streets to protest against police violence. However, the authorities resorted to excessive force against elderly people as well; there are the names of over 100 detainees on Viasna’s list.

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Post-election protests broke out in the cointry on August 9; since then, Belarusians have been holding protest rallies and marchess, demanding Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s resignation, holding a free and fair election, releasing political prisoners, putting an end to police violence as well as state-run TV stations’ providing people with unbiased and reliable information.