Representatives of Polish and German NGOs Warned about Possible Deportation
A group of representatives of NGOs of Poland and Germany, who came to Mahiliou, have been told that they could soon be deported from Belarus.
On 14 August the police burst into a private house in Chekhau Street 16 in Mahiliou where a meeting of youth activists from Belarus, Poland and Germany was taking place. After checking their documents the police released all the detainees. The foreign guests were warned about deportation in the case they decided to come to the house again.
At present the Poles and the Germans live in Mahiliou hotel and are watched by secret services. Organizers of the meeting, representatives of the youth initiative Third Way, state that their contacts with the foreigners have no political motivation. They emphasize that Third Way is not an organization, but an internet community that unites public activists from Russia, Estonia, Poland, Germany and other countries. They deal with solely cultural and educational activity, including organization of rock concerts. For instance, this year Third Way activists decided to establish Belaplus 2007 project. Within its limits they intended to visit several cities of Belarus and gather youngsters (students and pupils) in order to inspire them to creation of their own initiatives.
Mahiliou was visited by representatives of the public organization Kultur Aktiv that organized concerts in Germany for the Belarusian bands who are prohibited to perform in Belarus.
A representative of Kultur Aktiv: ‘We got into a very unpleasant situation, though we did not rule out that it could happen. I hope it will not repeat in the future. We will react to this event on coming back home by telling our press what has happened to us in Belarus.’ The consuls of Poland and Germany have been already informed about the situation and are watching the situation. The visas that have been issued to the youth activists expire on 30 August.