Salihorsk: Police Detain and Beat Cycle Race Participants
On Sunday, 19 August, activists of Salihorsk branch of Young Front held a circle race that ended with detentions and beatings.
A peculiarity of this action was that a white-red-white flag was attached to each bicycle. The race started near the court where a youth activist Ivan Shyla would soon be judged. In fifteen minutes the racers got to the central square, where they were greeted with more flags, raised by young spectators. During the next 30 minutes the citizens had a possibility to watch a fantastic event: the youngsters made about 10 circles across the square.
Dozens of policemen and several police cars were called for detention of the action participants. Instead of prevention of real crimes they were ordered to come to the square. The police ringed the youngsters and tried to detain them. Nevertheless, the majority of them managed to escape, though the police started a real hunting: they followed the racers by cars, overlapped the roads and blocked the town quarters.
The police detained Viktar Harun who carried fishing rods. They stated that these very fishing rods with white-red-white flags were attached to the bicycles. Ivan Shyla was detained by about ten policemen. Three police cars were involved in the detention process. During transportation to the police station Shyla was severely beaten: his face was in blood and several bruises in different places. In their reports the police accused the detainees of ‘dirty swearing’ (petty hooliganism) and disobedience to legal demands of the police.