Armed Police Search Initiative Group Members
On 26 August vice-head of Belarusian Helsinki Committee Hary Pahaniayla came to Rechytsa on invitation of one of the leaders of the public association “Perspektyva”, potential candidate to the Chamber of Representatives Leanid Nevar. Members of the initiative group complained that Rechytsa District Executive Committee put obstacles to them. For instance, the administration of the executive committee was absent during its office ours so that it was difficult to get them verify signatures of members of the initiative group on nomination of candidate to deputies on signature lists.
Leanid Nevar and Hary Pahaniayla visited the head of the circuit election commission and, vice-head of the executive committee Vital Atamanchuk and pointed at a number of problems. For instance, they told him it was illegal to combine the duties of the vice-head of the executive committee and the head of the circuit election commission. According to the law, V. Atamancuk was to have taken a leave of absence at the executive committee during his being the head of the election commission. Some other workers of the executive committee are members of the election commission.
Leanid Nevar and Hary Pahaniayla returned to Nevar’s house, where members of the initiative group gathered. Soon policemen in body armor burst into it, holding machine guns. The operation was directed by the police lieutenant-colonel Pavel Ryzhko. The policemen refused to introduce themselves to Leanid Nevar and call the aim of their visit. When Nevar introduced Hary Pahaniayla as his representative, they showed their certificates and process documents that confirmed the legality of their actions. It appeared that, having received information about gunshots in the house, P. Ryzhko ruled to examine the house and obtained the sanction from the inter-district prosecutor V. Budkow. The operation was conducted by the police captain A. Hrytsok together with the lieutenant H. Malutsin. Video filming was done by the lieutenant V. Kapusniak.
The police examined all buildings and rooms and searched bags, portfolios and pockets of all present persons. All members of the initiative group underwent this humiliating procedure including Hary Pahaniayla and the head of “Perspektyva” Anatol Shumchanka. Many of them were made to give explanations concerning the aim of their visit, profession, etc. Nevar’s neighbors and passers-by watched this all for about three hours. Having finished the search the policemen stated they found nothing wrong and wouldn’t exact anything. They refused to register oral complaints against their actions and leave a copy of the minutes of their check-up. It was issued by the head of Rechytsa District Board of Internal Affairs when Nevar and Pahaniayla came there.
Belarusian Helsinki Committee is of the opinion that the police actually conducted an operation on intimidation of members of the initiative group and discrediting of the potential candidate to the Chamber of Representatives Leanid Nevar.
According to the press service of Belarusian Association of Journalists