Eight Political Prisoners Released from Detention Center in Minsk
On 6 May eight persons, arrested for participation in the opposition’s action of 26 April, were released from the detention center in Akrestsin Street in Minsk. Half of them were Ukrainians and the other half – Belarusians. On 26 April about 40 persons were detained. 14 Russian citizens, 5 Ukrainians and 8 Belarusians were sentenced to arrest.
After the protest of the Russian procurator’s office, Russian citizens were released on 30 April. Minsk City Court left the sentences to the Ukrainian citizens in force. After the release they were deported and the seal that prohibited the entrance to Belarus for the next five years was put in their passports.
On 5 May Alexiy Panasiuk, who was sentenced to 9 days of jail, was deported to the Ukraine. The Ukrainian consul Vasil Serdeha drove him there by his car.
More than fifty people gathered at the entrance of the detention center, leaders of oppositional partiers, members of Young Front and Zubr and businessmen among them. They had orange ribbons on their sleeves to express solidarity with the Ukrainians. On this day the prison terms ended for Ihor Huz (leader of the National Alliance), Alexander Vaflay and Andiy Hrynaliuk. A representative of the Ukrainian Embassy was invited, most probably, for deciding on the procedure of deportation.
Andriy Bokach was arrested for 15 days, but released before time in order to deport from Belarus together with compatriots. Workers of the Ukrainian Embassy drove them to the Ukraine by their personal cars. When the gates of the detention center opened and the embassy car drove out of it, people gave way to it and saw off the Ukrainian citizens.
The released Belarusians are: Siarhiei Vysotski, leader of the unregistered Belarusian Freedom Party, the members of the Young Front Kiryl Shymanovich, Anatol Biekasau, Alieh Hniedchyk and Siarhiei Dziadziushka. Siarhiei Vysotski kept a hunger-strike.
The activist of Young Front Dzmitry Dashkievich is still in jail, spending his 12-day term. Siarhiei Lisichonak is kept in hospital.
According to RFE/RL