More Election-related Arrests All over Belarus
On 11 January the police detained a democratic activist Aliaksandr Karatchenka for seven hours at Homel Chyhunachny police department. At 11.30 the police searched his car and found there 6 000 leaflets on behalf of a district coordinator of For Freedom movement Uladzimir Katsora which, according to the police, contained ‘anti-Constitutional expressions’. Then they obtained a search warrant, searched the activist’s flat and exacted a hard drive from his computer.
‘At 6 p.m. they let me go and told to expect a summons to court’, A.Karatchenka said. The same day at the entrance to Zhlobin (Homel region) the police stopped a car that belonged to Valery Rybchanka, secretary of Zhlobin district organization of the Party of Communists of Belarus. Besides Rybchanka in the car there were the candidates to Zhlobin district deputy soviet, PCB members Viktar Balenkou and Valiantsin Iauzrezau and a deputy of Zhlobin district deputy soviet, UCP member Marat Afanasiieu. ‘They didn’t give any charges to us, but said they detained us because of a hard criminogenic situation. They also said that we could steal a radio cassette player and install in the car and they had the right to detain us for three hours,’ V.Rybchanka commented.
On 11 December the police detained for three hours Mikalai Petrushenka, a candidate to Talachyn district deputy soviet and member of the Party of Communists of Belarus, for distribution of the PCB’s printed organ, Tovarishch newspaper in Talachyn-Orsha diesel train.
In Hrodna the police detained Andrei Famin, a proxy to the BPF member Valery Kisel running to Hrodna regional deputy soviet. A duty policeman of Hrodna Leninski police department told to RFE/RL that Famin was detained at a bus stop for urinating there and a report for ‘petty hooliganism’ was being drawn on him.
On 12 January Maksim Hubarevich, an activist of the election headquarters of a candidate to Hrodna city deputy soviet Siarhei Antusevich, was sentenced to 4 days of jail. Mr. Hubarevich was detained at 4.30 p.m. on 11 January by the policemen Henadz Kazlouski and Iury Rahachouski near secondary school #11 where a polling station was situated. Mr. Hubarevich monitored there the election process. The policemen stated that he used foul language outdoors and behaved boldly. Judge Zinaida Bartsevich sentenced him to 4 days of jail for alleged violation of article 156 of the Administrative Code, petty hooliganism. We should remind that during the last election campaign, in spring 2006 Mr. Hubarevich was twice imprisoned.