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Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Sunday Photos: Oborona Edition

Oborona reports (in a post rhymingly entitled "Luku za Muku" which means "Put Lukashenko into the garbage"):

On January 16th in Moscow with the support and participation of representatives of the Belarusian Action, Oborona, the People's Democratic Union of Youth (NDSM), and their supporters a protest action was carried out in front of the Belarusian Embassy against the dictatorship of Alexander Lukashenko.

The participants carried the national white-on-red-on-white flags of Belarus and displayed portraits of the missing opponents of Lukashenko and those were arrested in protest actions on January 10th in Minsk, when there was a demonstration by small business owners regarding legislative oppression of their activities. The peaceful demonstration was brutally suppressed the Belarusian special forces. Many activists were charged with criminal activity when they refused to disburse and were sentenced imprisonment for a term from 15 to 20 days.

The participants gathered with placards in front of the Belarusian Embassy and chanted: "Long live Belarus! Belarus in Europe! Lukashenko is an ass! Freedom for political prisoners! Look at the rubbish!" Passersby were offered leaflets explaining the purpose of the protest: to win the release of political prisoners and to demand the holding free elections in Belarus. These were the same leaflets that were handed out in Minsk on January 10th. This time, unlike what occurred in similar protests in November and December, the forces of the Kremlin did not arrange a provocation against the protesters, but only surrounded and videotaped them.

Various human rights organizations have asked that the 16th day of each month be used as an opportunity for the people of the world to show solidarity with the oppressed victims of Lukashenko. The initiative to hold Days of Solidarity was born after September 16, 2005, when Minsk police broke up an demonstration in memory of the missing, confiscating portraits of the missing and national flags that were on display.

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