Belarusian Border Guards Detain Ukrainian Believers

2006 2006-06-01T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

About 50 participants of the religious procession from the Ukrainian city of Odessa to Sergiev Posad (Moscow) didnt manage to get to Belarus. At the transition point Makrany the Orthodox believers were met by armed policemen who were called by the emigration service. The believers were informed it happened because the Belarusian authorities and the Belarusian Orthodox Church werent informed about the procession. Besides, according to the officials, only Belarusian citizens could organize religious processions on the territory of Belarus. Thats why the believers were ordered to return to the Ukraine.

The organizer of the procession Yury Shyskov was surprised at the statement of the authorities that only Belarusian citizens could organize processions on the territory of the country. According to him, the procession continues on the territory of the Ukraine and the believers will cross the Belarusian border in the case they receive permission from the authorities. Otherwise they are going to use transport for transit through Belarus and continuation of the procession on the territory of Russia.

In his interview to RFE/RL Mr Shyshkov also said that the procession participants used to support the policy of Aliaksandr Lukashenka but the present events make them review their convictions.

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