In Minsk downtown on 25 January the police detained four members of the Zianon Pazniak initiative group
This is the information provided to Radio Liberty by Valiery Buival, the CCP BPF press secretary. The police detained Uladzimier Iukho, Heorgiy Iarashuk, Margaryta Liavotskaia, Uladzimier Talkachou, who were collecting signatures and distributing information fly sheets about the procedure of “popular voting”. 600 fly sheets and a poster "Let's stop the falsification of the regime by popular voting". The police did not explain the reasons for the detention. They called a representative of the election commission of Tsentralny Borough of Minsk and made in his presence a report intended for the Central Election Committee, which said that the fly sheets contained “anti-constitutional” materials.
The head of the Zianon Pazniak initiative group Siarhei Papkou said after the activists had been released they did not receive a copy of this paper and noted that if earlier activists of the group had been detained, they had not made any report. Siarhei Papkou believes that actions against the participation of Zianon Pazniak in the election campaign are being prepared. He is going to appeal the actions by the police and the committee representative in the procurator's office.
According to the members of the initiative group, the distribution of the materials was not a violation of the law - they view these materials as having information rather than agitation value. The authorities, including the Central Election Committee, have a different opinion. Last week the initiative groups of Aliaxandr Milinkievich and Zianon Pazniak received warnings from the Central Election Committee for the distribution of the printed materials The CEC secretary Mikalai Lazavik said then: “These two groups are distributing agitation materials during the collection of signatures: fly sheets, calendars, newspapers. During the collection of signatures, one can show electors some materials and can tell them something but not distribute them”.