KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Police in the capital of Belarus detained dozens of demonstrators Saturday as medical workers and women held separate marches to denounce violence against anti-government protesters and to call on the country’s authoritarian president to step down. .
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko reiterated that he would not give in to the three-month-long wave of daily protests spurred by his disputed election to a sixth term.
Official results of the country’s Aug. 9 presidential election gave Lukashenko 80% of the vote. office; the opposition and some poll workers say the results were manipulated.
About 50 doctors and medical workers marched through Minsk on Saturday holding photographs of people injured by police rubber bullets, stun grenades and water cannon during previous demonstrations. Hundreds of people also took part in a separate women’s protest march that has become a regular Saturday event.
Belarusian human rights organization Viasna said at least 47 people were detained by police at the actions.
Lukashenko, who has refused dialogue with the opposition, renewed his defiance on Saturday.
“Only the strong and those who can stand firm are respected in the world. We will stand,” he said.
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