Human Rights Defender Attacked
In the evening of April 3 about 9.30 p.m. strangers beat Mikola Kalinin, human rights defender and an activist of the Roma movement. According to Kalinin, the incident occurred on the corner of Bahdanovich and Kamunistychna Streets. He was approached by 6 unknown guys and a girl. The girl told the guys that he had insulted her. Kalinin says he has never seen the girl before: “I remember only the first strong blow of a professional boxer in the face. Then I passed out. Fortunately, my father was nearby. They started to swear at him and hit him several times. Then they left”. Mikola Kalinin believes the attack was a pre-planned action. He has been campaigning for the rights of the Roma people for several years, spreading information on this topic in Belarus and abroad. Last fall Mr. Kalinin was summoned to prosecutor’s office and warned about responsibility for acting on behalf of an unregistered organization.