Belarus: Armed Forces have no business in dealing with protests

On 24 July, Belarussian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka publicly stated that he was prepared to use the Armed Forces to “restore order” and put down street protests and demonstrations. This remark was made in the context of an upcoming presidential election on 9 August, in which the incumbent will be seeking re-election for his sixth term. It follows weeks of mass protests against electoral violations across the country, all of them peaceful except those that were brutally dispersed by the authorities which resulted in isolated incidents of police-provoked violence.

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