Belarusian Election Observers Get Detained

2004 2004-12-23T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Human Rights Center "Viasna" nominated 41 observer for observing the third vote of the presidential election in the Ukraine. The observers act within the framework of the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations, which "Viasna" joined in 2001. There are also about 80 observers from other Belarusian NGOs.

On 22 October special police forces detained about 100 participants of teh briefing that was devoted to the election and took place in "Belarus" hotel. Persons in plain clothes shot the process of detentions with video cameras. Among the detainees there was teh head of "Viasna" Ales Bialiatski, its lawyer Uladz Labkovich and about 40 other members of the organization.

The police detained the observers at Minsk Tsentralny Borough Board of Internal Affairs for more than five hours without composing any protocols and giving any accusations. The train to Kyiv, departed at 9 p.m. The observers were released only at about 10 p.m. Probably, the authorities hoped they would decide not to go to the Ukrainian capital. Nevertheless, at night the observers managed to cross the border to monitor the election in Poltava, Luhansk and Harkiv regions.