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Belarus opposition to compile register of alleged police abuses

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Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya listens, during a bilateral visit, in Stockholm, Sweden, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020.
Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya listens, during a bilateral visit, in Stockholm, Sweden, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020.   -   Copyright  Claudio Bresciani/TT News Agency via AP
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Belarus' opposition has said it will compile a list of law enforcement officers accused of abuses against protesters.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who was the main opposition candidate in the August presidential election, said it would compile accounts of alleged police abuse and that they would be verified by independent lawyers.

“Impunity will not last forever,” said Tsikhanouskaya, who spoke during a video call from Lithuania. “No one will be able to deprive hundreds of thousands of people who are striving for justice from speaking out."

Demonstrations broke out in Belarus just after the disputed presidential election, which saw strongman Alexander Lukashenko claim a sixth term in office.

Critics say the election was fraudulent. The European Union has issued sanctions against Belarusian officials accused of vote-rigging.

Since then, the country has been swept by a wave of protests that have drawn at times up to 200,000 people. The demonstrations have been met with a violent police response and thousands of detentions.

Several local and international non-profit organisations have documented cases of torture and abuse of protesters in police custody.

Tsikhanouskaya said that the opposition will use the register of law enforcement officers accused of abuses to push for Western sanctions against them.