Arrests for Congratulations on Victory Day
On 9 May, during the Victory Day celebration in Minsk activists of youth democratic organizations were detained in Minsk. Members of the initiative New Way congratulated veterans in Gorky Park in Minsk. They handed out leaflets with a call to support young people who democratic values.
Veterans were given cards with little leaflets inside. It was written there: ‘Now, when the authorities adopt laws aimed against the Belarusian people. We are deprived legal allowances, a possibility to work legally and get normal wages. We must defend what we are guaranteed by the laws and Constitutions.’
Authors called upon veterans to support young people. Veterans thanked for congratulations. Some of them reacted to the leaflets positively.
’We have come to congratulate veterans on this great holiday and remind them that human rights are violated in our country, that this regime reminds Germany in 1937. We have come to thank veterans for saving the world and our country where we hope to build a real democratic society,’ a participant of the action explained to RFE/RL.
Policemen from Leninski police department of Minsk came up to young people when there were no leaflets left. Young people showed cards to policemen. The policemen called to their commanders and then – to the riot police, to take five activists to a police department. However the riot policemen for some reasons were unable to arrive fast.
Passers-by asked why drunken teenagers are not detained and policemen said that they had more important tasks. Then they copied passport details of the youth activists and left.
Besides, yesterday in the centre of Minsk after fireworks policemen detained activists of youth democratic movement, 19-year-old Illia Sharbinski and 17-year-old Raman Bahdanovich.
According to young activists, it is most likely that they attracted attention of policemen by wearing badges For Freedom! Illia Sharbinski and Raman Bahdanovich were taken to Tsentralny police department of Minsk.
The guys told to RFE/RL that they witnessed an incident when after the fireworks drunken young men were violent, they snatched off official flags of Belarus and threw them on the ground and into the Svislach River.