Police Detains Picketers for Election and Referendum Boycott
On 20 September Vitebsk members of Christian Conservative Party organized a picket calling to boycott the parliamentary election and the referendum. With posters “Don’t take part in election and referendum – they will cheat anyway”, and “Empty polling stations – the best means against fraud”, the picketers were detained and taken to Chyhunachny police station.
This is the second picket organized by Vitebsk CCP members Uladzimir Pleshchanka, Alexander Salawyan, and Barys Khamaida. They started their boycott campaign on September 17. The first picket went without any problems. On September 20 the police stopped the action in one hour after it had begun and took all three participants of the picket to the police station.
The police officers drew up detention reports which say the picketers had violated the law on street actions by organizing an unsanctioned event in the city center.
Khamaida, Pleshchanka, and Salawyan tried to explain that this month is the month of free election campaigning, which might be both for and against the election. However, the police did not listen to them, and sent the reports to court. The picketers’ cases will be heard by Chyhunachny court on September 27.