Mahilou Seminar Attract Attention of BT Again. Foreign Participant Fined.
18 citizens of Sweden, Lithuania and Ukraine were detained in Mahilou on November 26. They were participating in a seminar on gender issues in the “third sector” sphere when they were detained and taken to Leninski police department.
All the participants, which was interrupted by police, noted a certain consecution of actions that day.
At first 3 people from BT entered the lecture-hall with microphones and a video camera.
One of them showed permission of the lecture-hall owners to use cameras on the territory and a certificate under the name of Uladzimir Syomkin (a reporter from “Pershy Telekanal”). The cameraman started filming everything, and a reporter with a microphone approached Maria Svenson (correctly identifying her as the leading participant of the seminar). She answered his question about what was happening there and the visitors left promptly.
After that two people in plain clothes entered the room and said they were police officers from Leninski Migration Department of Mahilou. They told the participants to follow them.
Civic Forum NGO activists (seminar organizers) were released without any problems. However, Maria Svenson was fined 300 thousand BYR (about 150 USD) for “failing to meet the declared goal of the visit” -- she came to Belarus with a tourist visa.
Mahileu activists and BAJ members stress the fact that it’s the second time seminars with participation of foreign citizens have attracted the attention of BT.
BAJ Monitoring Service