Belarussian opposition presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya holds major rally in Minsk
According to reports from the ministry of internal affairs of Belarus on Friday, and, an independent Belarusian human rights center, on Thursday, around 18,250 to 63,000 visitors attended the rally. A main issue discussed was the liberation of arrested during the campaign.
The rally started around 18:00 local time (1500). During the first two hours, friends and relatives of political prisoners spoke. Belarusian musicians made performances between their speeches.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya arrived at at about 20:00. She spoke about her husband Alexander Lukashenko, since 1995. She asked for support, specially asking voters to vote at the polls, not before election day. Maria Kalesnikava spoke, who headed the campaign of , who was arrested and banned from the election; and Veranika Tsapkala, wife of , a potential presidential candidate who fled the country., who was arrested in May, and promised to conduct new completely fair elections and hold a constitutional referendum to cancel all amendments issued by the current president,
Within roughly a day before the event, Belarusian KGB arrested 33 Russian individuals, claiming them to be mercenaries, who allegedly were preparing to organize "terrorism" in association with the election. The government strengthened security measures during the rally.
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