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New Video Of Belarus Protester's Death Appears To Contradict Official Version Of Events

By RFE/RL August 15, 2020

New video published by the Associated Press on August 15 showing the death of a Belarusian protester appears to contradict the official version of events.

The death of Alyaksandr Taraykouski on August 10 has become a rallying cry for the protest movement against President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in the wake of a disputed election and harsh crackdown that has drawn international outrage.

The Associated Press published a video made on August 10, which shows Taraykouski wobbling with a blood-stained shirt before he collapses to the ground several meters from a line of riot police at Pushkinskaya subway station in the capital, Minsk.

Riot police then go straight toward him and surround the body of the 34-year-old.

According to the official version of events, an explosive device blew up in Taraykouski's hands as he was trying to throw it at police, but nothing like that can be seen in the video.

Taraykouski's relatives have said they do not believe he had an explosive device.

Earlier, Taraykouski's death from other angles were published on Telegram channels and Euroradio.

Those videos show Taraykouski with his hands up around 10 meters from a line of riot police when there is a flash from the direction of the police. Taraykouski falls to the ground seconds later.

Thousands of protesters on August 15 paid their respects to Taraykouski at a memorial Pushkinskaya subway station, where for days people have laid flowers.

Taraykouski's family urged protesters not to attend a funeral church service and instead gather near the subway station where he died.

Despite the plea, hundreds gathered outside the church service waving flags and photos of Taraykouski.

Hundreds of others entered the hall, where the ceremony took place, to lay flowers and wreaths.

At least two people have been killed, hundreds injured, and thousands detained in protests since the controversial August 9 election that saw Lukashenka, in power since 1994, declared the winner.

Opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya has called for more peaceful rallies.

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/video- contradicts-official-belarus-version-of -protester-death/30785761.html

Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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