The Czech Foreign Ministry on Monday expressed concern over the way that the Belarusian presidential election was held and called on Minsk to not use force against the protesters
PRAGUE (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 10th August, 2020) The Czech Foreign Ministry on Monday expressed concern over the way that the Belarusian presidential election was held and called on Minsk to not use force against the protesters.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic expresses concern about the course of this year's presidential election in Belarus. We consider it unacceptable that a large number of people were detained before the vote in connection with the election campaigning and exercising of the right of assembly. Equally unacceptable are the actions of repressive forces against citizens protesting against the conduct and results of the elections. These facts are of concern and we call on the Belarussian Government to stop punishing its citizens for exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights," the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry added that the elections could not be considered free and democratic due to several presidential candidates being refused registration or detained. Prague also condemned the arrests of protesters during the election campaign.
The ministry also regretted that the mission from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was not able to observe the election. The OSCE has said that organizing an observing mission was impossible due to the invitation from Minsk arriving too late.
"I condemn police violence and brutality against peaceful demonstrators in Minsk. These actions in no way correspond to today's Europe. Belarusians have the right to freedom of speech and democracy," Babis tweeted.
The presidential election was held in Belarus on Sunday, with incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko entering his sixth term with over 80 percent of the vote, while opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya received more than 10 percent, according to the latest data provided by the Central Election Commission. The office of Tikhanovskaya has refused to recognize the election results, claiming that the opposition candidate in fact won between 70 to 80 percent of the ballots.
Sunday night was marked with demonstrations across the country against the election results. Police carried out thousands of detentions, including those of journalists who tried to cover the protests. Lukashenko said earlier in the day that the demonstrations were managed from Poland, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek has refuted allegations of Prague's involvement.