Date: 11 September 2020

Prosecutor’s Offensive

On Thursday, September 10, the Ministry of Internal Affairs gave official information about the protests in Belarus the day before. The police detained a total of 37 people, mostly in Minsk. Also on Thursday Lukashenko introduced the employees of the Prosecutor General’s Office to their new boss – Andrei Shved. The new Prosecutor General announced that the measures will be stepped up, saying that “Any cases of violence, extremism, and disturbances of public order should be nipped in the bud.” According to Lukashenko, the prosecutor’s office has not yet reacted strongly enough to the actions of the opposition. The signal of the more decisive actions of the prosecutor’s office is that two members of the Coordination Council – Maxim Znak and Maria Kolesnikova, have been arrested and charged with an attempt to illegally seize power. Kolesnikova’s attorney claims that her client stated that during an attempted deportation from Belarus to Ukraine, she was put on a bag over her head and threatened to be killed. In her statement, the oppositionist listed the following crimes committed against her: kidnapping, illegal imprisonment and the threat of death. On September 10, the Investigative Committee announced that it saw no grounds to carry out investigations into the high-profile case of the arrest of journalists when they were reporting a protest in Minsk on August 27. The militia detained a total of 47 representatives of the domestic and foreign media then. Most of them were released after a few hours, some of them were deprived of their accreditation. The last member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council remaining free and in Belarus, a Nobel Prize winner – Svetlana Alexievich, along with the President of the Association of Journalists of Belarus and Secretary General of “Reporters Without Borders”, called on the UN to send an observation mission to Belarus to defend the media.

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