Over 30 Youth Activists Detained During the Last 24 Hours
Police and KGB officers searched the apartments of some opposition members. The flyers and flags found during the search are in police station, the opposition members are behind bars. All the detained and arrested are charged with disorderly conduct, reports RFE/RL
The police detained about 3 dozen of opposition activists in the last 24 hours. In the evening of March 24 police officers visited the apartments of Young Front members both in Minsk and the regions. If the people they wanted were not at home, policemen in civil clothes stayed near the entrance to the building for several hours.
Young Front members were detained on the streets in groups of 5 people. After drawing reports of disorderly conduct, the police released only teenagers. The rest were taken either directly to court, or to detention center to wait for trial on Monday.
Barys Haretski, Zmitser Fedaruk, Liudmila Atakulava are waiting for trial in Akrestsina detention center. In the regions the detained activists are placed to pre-trial detention centers where criminal suspects are kept.
The detained Young Front members managed to tell their friends and reporters that the police have a list of opposition members who need to be detained before the March 25 action. Some names on the list have not only the address but also information about their car and license number.
This way, in order to detain about 3 dozen of people, the authorities had to use different police services, and KGB. KGB officers came to search the apartments. In the morning of March 24 they visited Aleh Korban, but he was not at home. The officers in civil clothes spent 8 hours in a car and a bench near the entrance to Korban’s apartment building.
Artur Finkevich, Paval Seviarynets, and Mikola Statkevich, who serve labor sentences in open-type penitentiary institutions, will be isolated during the time of the street protests on October Square.
Mikola Statkevich says:
“Certainly, the process becomes dangerous for the authorities, if it is organized and managed by people who are not afraid to take responsibility. The number of such people is quite limited. Usually the authorities have a good idea of who these people are. The authorities are also of afraid of surprises and try to detain more people. At the same time, they don’t arrest people from whom they don’t expect any surprises”.
Mikola Statkevich thinks that the buses, police trucks and trucks with riot policemen seen by passers-by on Skaryna Avenue, are just an attempt to intimidate parents so that they don’t let their children participate in the protests. Many of the opposition activists believe that preventive arrests of the activists and demonstration of power on the eve of the protests may be a sign that there will be no order to disperse the rally.