Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko took office on Wednesday, according to Belta, the official news agency, as quoted by Reuters. The ceremony will have taken place in front of hundreds of people, but without any prior announcement, unlike what is usual on such occasions.
According to the Belta agency, Lukashenko got hold of the constitution and promised to “faithfully serve the people of the Republic of Belarus, to respect and protect the rights and freedoms of men and citizens, to respect and protect the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, and strictly and conscientiously carry out the heavy tasks ”entrusted to it.
Alexander Lukashenko, in power for 26 years, won the presidential election of August 9 with 84.28% of the vote, but it is contested by the opposition and is not recognized by the international community, in particular the European Union and the USA.
The presidential elections generated strong opposition in the country, which was suppressed by the police. In the first three days of protests alone, after the elections, six thousand people were arrested, but since then the number has steadily increased.
Anais Marin, a United Nations human rights investigator, concluded that more than 10,000 people had been “ill-treated in detention” since the protests began and that there were at least 500 reported cases of torture. In total, according to the opposition, six people are still dead and hundreds have been injured.
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