Vitsebsk: Barys Khamaida Detained and Fined for Distribution of Independent Press
During the recent visit of the Belarusian prime-minister Siarhei Sidorski to Vitsebsk the local police conducted a ‘clearing’ of the city. Within the frames of this clearing on 8 December the police detained Barys Khamaida, who came out to the center of the city with fresh independent newspapers.
In his interview to RFE/RL Mr Khamaida said: ‘Two police captains from Chyhunachny borough police department came to me and told to pack in! I had many newspapers: 200 fresh copies of Vitebskiy kurierё Narodnaia volia, Nasha niva, Arche, Svaboda, Uladzimir Padhol’s books and even some articles by Zianon Pazniak. I had a full bag, to put it short. The policemen even helped me to carry. At the police station they drew a report for trade in improper place. Then they drove me to a court, where I was fined 15 500 rubles. There I also told them that I will come out with newspapers again, because people need freedom.’