Belarus' Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya says a national strike will begin Monday after President Alexander Lukashenko's government responded with force to protests against him.
Belarus has been rocked by strikes and weekly street protests since authorities announced that President Lukashenko, who has ruled in authoritarian fashion since 1994, had secured re-election on August 9 with 80 percent of votes.
Protesters have taken to the streets every week since an August vote to demand that President Lukashenko step down and allow for a new election to be held.
President Alexander Lukashenko holds a rare meeting with detained opposition leaders, state-run Belta news agency reports.
Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya faces a charge in Belarus over making public calls to harm the country's security.
Top opposition Telegram channel, Nexta, says authorities have opened more than 250 criminal cases against President Lukashenko's would-be rivals, activists, bloggers, and ordinary Belarusians.
Protest leader Maria Kolesnikova is not in police custody, officials confirm after reports that she had been forcefully taken by unidentified people in central Minsk.
Tens of thousands of Belarusians staged a peaceful new march on September 6, keeping the pressure on strongman Alexander Lukashenko, who has refused to quit after his disputed re-election and turned to Russia for help to stay in power.
Lithuania has eased coronavirus restrictions to provide Belarus activists protesting against President Lukashenko's sixth re-election a place of refuge in light of violent crackdown on mass demonstrations.
President Alexander Lukashenko slams Western-backed mass protests against his election, orders army to defend western Belarus, which he describes as "a pearl".
The United States is monitoring the "terrible situation" unfolding in Belarus, calls on Russia to "respect Belarus’ sovereignty".
Tens of thousands have taken to the streets of Minsk and other cities over the past six days as opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and her supporters dispute incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko's claim to have won Sunday's election.
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