The confirmation of Lukashenko in power, the protests, the hypothesis of electoral fraud and the blocking of the Internet: what is happening in Belarus.
26 years after his first inauguration to power, in recent days Lukashenko confirmed himself as the head of Belarus for another term with over 80% of the votes. A few hours later, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the capital Minsk and other cities to protest against what they define as the last dictator of Europe by denouncing electoral fraud. At the same time, access to the Internet from the country seems to have been compromised at least in part, as does the use of some online or communication services.
Internet sobbing in Belarus
Among others, the complaint comes from Twitter which, through the Public Policy profile, shares a post describing a block of the social network in the area.
We are seeing Tblocking & throttling of Twitter in belarus in reaction to protests contesting the election result. Internet shutdowns are hugely harmful. They fundamentally violate basic human rights & the principles of the open internet.
— Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) August 10, 2020
The social network is not the only one to talk about a situation that went downhill within a few hours. Same has also been reported by Access Now, a nonprofit organization that monitors the status of the network in the world.
Our partners in Belarus say the authorities have:
Our partners in #Belarus say authorities have:
🚫 cut an uplink carrying 50% of foreign traffic
🚫 blocked dozens of sites incl. some independent media & alternative voting sites
🚫 blocked a number of VPN services #Internetshutdowns taint elections. Belarus must #KeepItOn
— Access Now (@accessnow) August 9, 2020
Among those who do not believe in the legitimacy of the electoral result is Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, a 37-year-old leader of the democratic opposition who challenged Lukashenko to the polls. Her husband Sjarhej Tichanouskij, a well-known face of YouTube, was arrested twice in May on charges of disturbing public order.