Actions in Commemoration of Iury Zakharanka
The actions in commemoration of Iury Zakharanka took place all over Belarus and in some European cities as well.
In Minsk there was an attempt to hold the Chain of Concerned People, devoted to the sixth anniversary of Zakharanka’s disappearance, but in several minutes its participants were pushed out of the square by riot squad police. The people held portraits of Iury Zakharanka in general’s parade uniform, hoping the police would understand the aim of the action and pay at list a little respect to the former minister of internal affairs.
In the evening of 7 May 12 Zubr activists were detained in the center of Mahiliou for the picket, devoted to the sixth anniversary of Zakharanka’s disappearance. Alieh Miatsielitsa, zubr coordinator in Mahiliou region, said that the picket was held opposite Homel regional KGB board, and Zubr activist wore red shirts with white crosses and portraits of Iury Zakharanka, Anatol Krasouski, Viktar Hanchar and Dzmitry Zavadski. They also held portraits of the missing in their hands. The picket lasted for several minutes and was dispersed by the police.
On 6 May Mahilioy Zubr activist hang out a large banner “Where’s Zakharanka?” on a large buildings in the center of the city so that the officials could see it from Mahiliou City Executive Committee.
At 1 p.m. on 7 May 10 people with white-red-white scarves and portraits of Iury Zakharanka came out to the Freedom Square and filed along the Art Museum. Valiery Shchukin and activists of United Civil Party managed to stand there for about twenty minutes. Suddenly the police arrived. There were twice more of them then the picket participants. Aliaksiei Shakhovich, vice-chair of Vitsebsk Kastrychnitski borough board of internal affairs, demanded from them to disperse threatening to detain them otherwise. He reminded to one of the picket participants, Mrs. Zalieskaia that a police report had been composed on her for participation in Chernobyl Way on 26 April and for the repeated violation she could receive a severe punishment, such as 15 days of jail, irrespective to her state of health and old age. Under the police pressure the picket dispersed. However, UCP members held another action – they laid a crown with white-red-white stripes to the Victory monument in Victory Square. The police watched them all the time, but didn’t touch the crown.
The commemorative action in Brest was held near Iubilieiny market and lasted for about twenty minutes as well. The action participants held portraits of the missing persons, which immediately turned the attention of the police, who demanded from them to stop the unauthorized action.
Several minutes later the chair of Brest regional UCP organization Stsiapan Navasielchan and his son Andrei were detained and took them to a police station. They also tried to detain Zinaida Mikhniuk, chair of the trade union of radio-electronic industry, but other participants of the action didn’t let them do it. However, the police managed to put down her passport data. At the police station they drew reports for organization of unauthorized assembly on Stsiapan and Andrei Navasielchans. Stsiapan Navasielchan said he disagreed with it, because it was his public position to commemorate the man, whose fate is still unclear.
The civil movement “We Remember” organized an unauthorized picket in Hrodna, devoted to the anniversary of Zakharanka’s disappearance. It lasted from 2 to 3 p.m. Seven people took part in it and six of them were detained at taken to Hrodna Kastrychnitski borough board of internal affairs.
On 7 May a picket devoted to the anniversary of Zakharanka’s disappearance was held in Warsaw. About fifteen people handed out to passers by fly-sheets with information about the case. They also held white-red-white flags and posters with such inscriptions “We remember the victims of Lukashenka’s regime”. They also held a performance there, featuring a man resembling Lukashenka, dressed in military uniform.
On 7 May a similar picket was held in the town of Landshut, not far from Munchen, by the political refugee from Belarus Iauhien Murashka. The participants held the poster “Iury Zakharanka became a victim o the dictatorial regime in Belarus”.
According to RFE/RL