Lawless Harassment of Activists on the Eve of 25 March Action Continues
On 21 March Minsk Pershamaiski borough court sentenced the activist of Young Front Barys Haretski to 12 days of jail for ‘cursing'. The police detained him in the evening in Valhahradskaia Street, when he went out of his house. They searched the activist's his bag and took him to Minsk Pershamaiski police department. There they wrote a report for ‘cursing’.
In the evening of 21 March the police paid a visit to the apartment of Minsk activist of another activist of Young Front, Siarhei Lisichonak, but he was not at home. Today in the morning they came again, but he was again absent. Since that time a police car has kept duty near his porch.
In the morning of 22 March policemen in mufti paid a visit to the activist of Young Front Nasta Palazhanka and proposed her to come to prosecutor’s office with them. She refused and said she was going for classes. Then the policemen showed to her a summons dated 21 March, with some lines crossed out. The policemen stated she was to come to Minsk Pershamaiski borough prosecutor A.Mliavy by 3 p.m.
Today in the morning the activist of the unregistered youth organization Young Front Aleh Korban was detained near his house in Minsk and taken to the traffic police department of Partyzanski borough. There he was interrogated concerning the political graffiti Long Live Belarus! and 25 March that were made by unknown persons on the walls of Minsk Partyzanski borough prosecutor’s office. An hour later the activist was taken to the prosecutor and made to sign a warning about inadmissibility of violations of public order on 25 March. Then he was released.
We should remind that Aleh Korban, Barys Haretski and Nasta Palazhanka are suspects in a criminal case that was brought under article 193.1 of the Criminal Code, ‘activity on behalf of unregistered organization’.
In Rechytsa unknown persons assaulted the chair of Rechtytsa regional office of Belarusian People’s Front Party Valery Putsitski. At about 9.20 p.m. he was met in the porch of his house by two unknown persons in mufti. Valery tried to escape and a fight started. On hearing his screams Valery’s wife and neighbor ran out of their flats. He managed to escape from the assaulters and ran into his apartment, though he was severely beaten. He phoned to the local police inspector, who first took the receiver and then put it down.
It’s quite interesting that Valery Putsitski was going home and a police car stood near his house. It brings to the conclusion that the assault could be organized in order to accuse the activist in hooliganism and imprison him on the eve of 25 March action.
Nevertheless, Mr. Putstistki is going to apply to the police with the request to find and punish those who assaulted and beat him. We should also remind that in autumn 2006 Valery Putsitski was fired from his job.
On 21 March the judge of Hrodna Leninski borough court Natallia Kozel sentenced the chair of Hrodna city office of Belarusian People’s Front Party Vadzim Saranchukou to 5 days of jail for alleged cursing.
At about 1 p.m. Vadzim Saranchukou came to a juridical consultation in Savetskaia Street. When he went out two policemen in the uniform made him get into their car and took him to Hrodna Leninski borough police department. There they composed a report where he was accused in ‘cursing before people’. The judge immediately sentenced him to 5 days of jail under article 17 of the Administrative Code. He is already the third activist imprisoned by her these days.
On 21 March in Kamsamolskaia Street in Homel the police detained a former deputy of Homel city deputy council, chair of the social movement Razam Iury Hlushakou.
According to RFE/RL a young stranger asked Mr. Hlushakou for a cigarette, then started pulling him by the sleeves and imitated that Hlushakou kicked him in the groin. Naturally, the police appeared immediately and ‘registered the incident’. They searched Hlushakou’s belongings, composed a report for petty hooliganism, and took to court. All these actions were directed by the chair of Homel Tsentralny borough police department, police major Sukharukau.
However, judge Viktar Kazachok didn’t give a sentence to the accused. Iury Hlushakou is a widower who has an under-aged daughter. The trial was postponed to 22 March.
Iury Hlushakou views this detention as an attempt to prevent him from taking part in 25 March action, Freedom Day.
In Brest the police tried to detain the public activist Andrei Sharenda.
As Human Rights Center Viasna learned from Brest human rights activist and journalist Uladzimir Vialichkin, at about 4 p.m. on 22 March in Savetskaia Street the police detained Andrei Sharenda. A police patrol with the senior ensign Aliaksandr Iashchuk tried to pull the activist into a police car and take to a police station for ‘identification’. The policemen even handcuffed the activist, which attracted public attention.
Vialichkin came just in time. He showed to the policemen his journalist certificate and asked them about the reasons for the detention. The senior ensign answered that he was ordered to detain a man in great coat. ‘I was in a grey coat, and many of the passers-by were as well, but they didn’t touch us’, Vialichkin pointed. Andrei Sharenda demanded a lawyer and didn’t agree to be transported by the patrol car. He said that he could come to the police station on foot if necessary. ‘Only thanks to the pressure of the citizens, 20 of whom ringed the policemen and 20 more were ready to come to help, the policemen had to release the activist. They promised he would receive a summons to court on the following day’, commented Vialichkin. ‘Much time has passed since I last saw how many people came at help and expressed their indignation with the police actions’, he added.
In Minsk the riot police detained the activist Mikita Krasnou near Autazavodskaia tube station. He was walking together with his mother. The policemen didn’t explain the reason for detention and only said they would take the guy to Minsk Zavadski borough police department. According to some information, all borough police departments received the lists of persons ‘to be neutralized’ before the Freedom Day, 25 March. That’s why many activists change their location to escape the harassment and take part in the action.
In the evening KGB agents and policemen in mufti blocked the apartment in Pushkin Avenue in Minsk where sittings of youth activists of For Freedom movement were taking place on Wednesdays. The policemen detained five persons who went out of the flat, searched their belongings and put down the passport data. Some more people were left in the flat. Policemen and KGB agents spent much time waiting for them in the porch.