#FreedomBelarus, Change!, Never Aгain! These are some of the messages adorning the dozens of protest posters being produced daily in Belarus as protests enter their fourth day following presidential elections on 9 August.
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Minsk and other Belarusian cities in peaceful demonstrations, accusing the government of rigging the ballot, which saw the incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years, win with 80 per cent of the votes.
“Omon, and the Army, remember karma!” one poster says. “Enough of staying silent,” says another, next to a megaphone. Two posters quote the Belarusian constitution, declaring: “The only source of state power and bearer of sovereignty is the people,” and “Each citizen is guaranteed the freedom of opinion, conviction, and expression.” Other posters take aim at the police brutality, which has led to dozens of injuries in the three nights of protests, and one death.
According to Belarusian police, 6,000 protestors and several journalists in Minsk, Grodno, Brest, and Vitebsk, were arrested since elections. Access to the internet has also been cut over the past three days, as families look for the missing.
Lukashenko ran against the opposition leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who officially received only 10 per cent of the votes, a figure many critics have decried as false. Tsikhanouskaya registered at the Central Electoral Committee, after her husband, the vlogger Sergei Tikhanovsky, who was running as a presidential candidate, was imprisoned. Another candidate, Viktor Babariko, a former banker, was also detained, while a third opposition figure, Valery Tsepkalo, the former Belarusian ambassador to the United States, was barred from registering as a candidate.
After a visit at the Central Electoral Committee to file a contestation of the election results, Tsikhanouskaya was detained for several hours, and then fled to Lithuania, citing concerns for the safety of her children whom she had sent abroad during the campaign.
The online platform cultprotest.me allows anyone to upload and print protest posters. Read some of them below.