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Melitina Staniouta on the Belarus protests: ‘I just could not keep quiet’ | Tumaini Carayol

The decorated gymnast has joined 400 sporting figures in protesting at the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko and police brutality

For numerous bitter days in early August, Belarus went dark. After the rigged presidential re-election of Alexander Lukashenko, tens of thousands of civilians took to the streets in peaceful protest, where they were met by state-sanctioned violence as the government killed the internet. Haunting stories continue to emerge of beatings directed by the government.

As unrest endures at home, it has coincided with unprecedented sporting success abroad. At the US Open, five Belarusians reached the second round and the former women’s world No 1 Victoria Azarenka defeated the No 5 seed, Aryna Sabalenka, in a grand Belarusian derby.

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