Police Detains Five Participants of 1 May Celebration

2004 2004-05-03T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

According to the press-service of Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Narodnaya Hramada), on Saturday, 1 May, BSDP celebrated the Day of Work.

This year this social-democratic holiday acquired one more meaning – on 1 May our neighbors – Poland, Lithuania and Latvia became a part of the European Union. The peoples of these countries chose freedom, security, development and welfare. Belarusian social-democrats also tie the future of Belarus with the united Europe.

Activists of Minsk city activists of BSDP (NH) and young social democrats participated in the authorized May demonstration in Yanka Kupala Park. They unrolled white-red-white party flags and flags of the European Union. They handed out literature about the European Union. Social democrats were supported by the youth movements “Young Front” and “Zubr”, the Women’s party “Nadzeya”, the European Movement and the European House.

The authorities inadequately reacted to these actions. Unknown persons in plain clothes assaulted the action participants. They beat people, grabbed flags and slogans. They even pulled into police cars several people, who were holding flags of the European Union and national flags. They also tried to take away BSDP flags, but the organization activists managed to defend their symbols. Five participants of the demonstration were detained. Among them there was Pavel Hormash, vice-head of the public association “Young Social Democrats” and a member of the European Movement. Later on he was charged with “distribution of fly-sheets with urges to enter the European Union”.

The Head of the BSDP Mikalay Statkevich spoke to the public. He congratulated people with the holidays, expressed his decisive protest against the official activities and demanded to set free the head of the European Movement Mikhail Marynich. After the measure, M. Statkevich, representatives of Minsk BSDP organization and young social democrats came to Minsk Tsentralny Borough Board of Internal Affairs where all the detainees except for Zmitser Dashkevich, who is also charged with organization of the “Charnobyl Way”) were kept.

In Homel and Brest activists of BSDP (NH) participated in city demonstrations under their party flags and flags of the European Union. They set on air hundreds of balloons with attached flags of the European Union and BSDP.

In Vitsebsk and Hrodna social democrats took part in unauthorized demonstrations together with organizations of businessmen. During all actions they distributed fly-sheets with information about the European Union.