Thousands of people in Minsk say goodbye to activist Raman Bandarenka – Photo

About 5,000 people said goodbye to activist Raman Bandarenka in Minsk on Friday, who died on November 12 after being beaten and arrested. On November 11, 31-year-old Bandarenka was beaten in the yard of his own house by people in masks who took off their white-red and white ribbons. The next day, Bandarenka died at the hospital, where he was taken from the Minsk Central District Internal Administration with extensive cerebral edema, closed skull and brain injury, subdural hematomas, bruises and abrasions. Farewell to Bandarenka took place in a church on the outskirts of Minsk, where people arrived with red and white flowers. Protests against the rigging of the presidential election have continued in Belarus since 9 August. Thousands have been detained and several hundred injured in protests. Major protests usually take place on Sundays. “It is not in our power to bring Raman back, but we can try to ensure that such crimes are never repeated,” opposition leader Sviatlana Cihanouska, who is currently based in Lithuania, told the Telegram app. An AFP journalist who was present at the activist’s funeral reports that people applauded and chanted “Rome, you are a hero!”. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said today that information related to Bandarenka’s death would be revealed next week. “Be patient, we will tell you everything next week. Believe me, it will be very interesting,” Lukashenko was quoted as saying by Belta. Investigators said Bandarenka looked intoxicated at the time of his arrest, but medical data published by the independent news site Tut.by did not indicate that he had consumed alcohol. The Prosecutor General’s Office of Belarus on Thursday initiated a criminal case against a doctor who told the media about the circumstances of Bandarenko’s death. The doctor is accused of disclosing medical secrecy and providing false information.

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