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Belarusians will not give up despite the repression

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On September 7, Stanislava "Stasya" Gusakova heard a knock on the door of her flat in Belarus's capital Minsk. When she opened it, four men - one in civilian clothing and three dressed in army fatigues and balaclavas - stormed in. They dragged Stasya out of her flat and forced her into a minivan which had been waiting outside. She was then taken to a nearby police station. At no point did the men introduce themselves or show any documents.

Stasya, who was a board member of the Belarusian National Youth Council (RADA), a union of 27 democratic youth organisations, has since gone through several hearings in Belaus's Kafkaesque court system where even basic standards of fairness are roundly ignored. She is currently serving a sentence of 11 days of administrative detention. Her only "crime" was taking part in the peaceful protests that have gripped Belarus since August 9, when the presidential elections were rigged.

Stasya's arrest is not an anomaly. Since last month, all of the opposition's key leaders have been kidnapped or arrested, have fled or been forced to leave the country. Thousands of people have been taken to police stations on bogus charges, and dozens continue to be arrested every day. Protesters have been tortured, humiliated, forcefully disappeared and even killed.

As the international media spotlight is slowly starting to fade, President Alexander Lukashenko shows no signs of backing down. He continues to remain in power despite the demand of his people for a new election.

It is no exaggeration to say that I have........

© Al Jazeera

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