Red and white are no longer popular in Belarus. In any case, for the government and the president, Alexander Lukashenko, who runs the country with an iron fist. Whether on a flag or in paint on the face, these two colors, symbols of the opposition, can get you in serious trouble. A Belarusian, Natalia Sivtsova-Sedushkina, paid the price.
The young woman was recently arrested by four hooded men in Minsk, the country’s capital. His crime? She was wearing white socks with red stripes. She also allegedly gave the V sign of victory to motorists, police said.
Natalia Sivtsova-Sedushkina then spent several hours at the police station, before being prosecuted under laws prohibiting unauthorized demonstrations, BBC reports. She was ordered to pay a fine of 2,320 Belarusian rubles [un peu plus de 750 euros].
As the tells the BelarusFeed media, this is not the first time that a person has been arrested in the country for wearing this kind of socks in public, which the government definitely seems to have in its sights. Belarusian company Mark Formelle, who sold them, withdrew from sale the white and red model that Natalya Sivtsova-Sedushkina wore during her arrest, adds the BBC.
Two colors, one fight
If President Lukashenko is uncompromising with regard to the use of these two colors, it is because their symbolism has pursued him for many months, since the Belarusian people rose up against him and his regime.
White and red are indeed associated with the historic demonstrations of tens of thousands of people who, in Minsk and throughout the country, have been protesting since August 9, 2020 against the re-election deemed fraudulent of Alexander Lukashenko.
During the demonstrations, the opponent of the regime Svetlana Tsikhanovskaïa had notably called on her supporters to wear bracelets of the color “Honesty”. The white as well as the red had then invaded the crowds. These two colors are also associated with those of the flag of the Belarusian People’s Republic of 1918. The country’s official red and green flag, inherited from the Soviet period, was reinstated in 1995 under Lukashenko’s presidency, explains Le Monde.
Today, the demonstrations have largely lost their scale due to the systematic repression of all forms of protests by the authorities. Several opposition figures have been arrested or forced to flee to neighboring countries, such as Svetlana Tsikhanovskaya, exiled in Lithuania.
Source: Slate.fr by www.slate.fr.
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