Well-known Belarusian Artist Ales Pushkin Released after Three Days of Detention
In Krupki, after three days of preliminary detention the well-known Belarusian artist Ales Pushkin was released from a police station. He is suspected in defilement of the monument to the hero of the Soviet Union Vasiliy Chebotaryov.
Here’s what he said about the reasons for the detention to RFE/RL:
?#152;At night of the Victory Day, 9 May, an interesting event happened. In my native town of Babry there is a monument to the hero of the Soviet Union Vasiliy Chebotaryov, worker of NKVD who allegedly committed a great feat of arms during World War II. However, my father often said to me that NKVD used to make large arsons in Babry at that time. So, somebody sluiced the monument with black paint and attached to the monument the inscription: ?#152;Let’s remove Russian occupants from the state seats of the independent Republic of Belarus!’. The police act like simpletons. They decided that, being the only artist in the town of Babry, I was the only one to have black paint. They seized me, searched for this paint in my house and in my father’s house as well, even behind icons.’
However, according to Pushkin, they confiscated completely different things: brochures by Zianon Pazniak, the newspapers Belaruskaia salidarnasts, Nasha niva, Arche magazine and stickers ?#152;In the memory of insurgents of 1863’.
The artist also expressed his indignation with the arrest: ?#152;They constantly interrogated me. They failed to conduct some of the interrogations, because I asked them to ask me questions in Belarusian. Even lieutenant-colonels had no command of the state language of Belarus. They were interested where I was at night of 9-10 May, who could confirm my location, who my friends were. As if I was a state criminal! That’s what happened in Babry these days,’ Ales Pushkin said.