20 January 2021,   01:40
Belarus opposition rally attracts thousands despite crackdown

Tens of thousands of people have gathered in Belarus for a rally by the president"s election rival, despite an escalating crackdown on the opposition, writes BBC.

More than 60 000 people demonstrated in the capital, Minsk, according to one human rights group, Viasna. The rally was organised by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who is standing against the long-term president.

Alexander Lukashenko has faced a wave of protests over his bid for a sixth term. He has exerted authoritarian control over Belarus in a style reminiscent of the Soviet era since he took office in 1994.