Youth Initiatives Support Center "Dzedzich" raided by police
In Brest on Friday 14 October the office of the Youth Initiatives Support Center "Dzedzich" was raided by the police. In the course of the illegal raid the police confiscated copies of the "Dzedzich" bulletin, of the "Naviny BNF", and also fly sheets entitled "Will there be a revolution in Belarus?"
The NGO Assembly reports the chronology of the events:
Officers of the Maskouski Board of Internal Affairs of Brest knocked on the door of the "Dzedzich" office at 5 p.m. but no one opened the door. After leaving "surveillance" behind themselves, they departed. In about an hour, when the head of the organization Zmitsier Shymanski was about to close the office, there came another knock on the door. Zmitsier stepped out to see the police and closed the office door, but the deputy chief of Maskouski Board of Internal Affairs Mikalai Siamionau said that they had received information about a fight and screams coming from the "Dzedzich" office. He ordered that the office be opened for inspection. "Maybe there are dead people scattered all around the place, and you do not let us inside", said Captain Siamionau. Zmitsiet Shymanski refused to open the door because the police did not have a warrant from the procurator, which would authorize the search. After that the police forced the keys out of the Foundation chair's hands. After accessing the "Dzedzich" office, the police found no "dead people" – however, instead of departing they took an interest in the printed materials found: the bulletins "Dzedzich" and "Naviny BNF" and also fly sheets "Will there be a revolution in Belarus?" that were mass-distributed in Belarus by activists of democratic organizations. At the same time the police banned the use of mobile communications, searched the people in the office, also looking into their pockets.
18-05: two people in civilian clothes took Vital Kaush, a "Dzedzich" volunteer, detained outside the organization's office (this was why the organization's members thought the office had been placed under "surveillance").
18-10: the police started to suspect that the issue of the bulletin "Dzedzich" and the fly sheets "Will there be a revolution in Belarus?" was accompanied by violations of the legislation. That's why the police officers invited witnesses and started to draw up a report of the confiscation of printed materials, namely different issues of the bulletin "Dzedzich", "Naviny BNF", "Rukh" and also the fly sheets "Will there be a revolution in Belarus?". Explaining the removal of the printed materials, Captain Siamionau said they needed to check if the printed materials had been issued legally.
18-50: the "Dzedzich" activists were taken to Maskouski Board of Internal Affairs, where Mr. Shymanski had to provide explanations regarding the printed materials found in the office. In particular, he said that the bulletin "Dzedzich" has been issued since 2000 in full compliance with the legislation, and the contents of the other printed materials do not violate the legislation.
20-00: the "Dzedzich" activists left the police station. Apart from the organization chair Mr. Shymanski the police did not interrogate any one else.
"Obviously, the main aim of this visit was to scare the activists of a democratic organizations. The police raid will not affect our activities in any way", said Zmitsier Shymanski, the chair of the Youth Initiatives Support Foundation, commenting the Friday incident.