Brest: Police Disrupt Meeting with Pavel Seviarynets
On 19 August in Brest the police detained participants of a meeting with a youth leader Pavel Seviarynets who presented his two books, Letters from Wood and Belarusian National Idea. It happened about 30 minutes after the beginning. At first the people heard somebody knocking on the door. Then somebody started breaking it out. Shouting: ‘There is a thieves’ meeting! Hands up! I will shoot!’ a group of persons in mufti with a lieutenant-colonel at the head burst into the BPF office rented in a small café. About 20 policemen blocked the café, detained 32 persons and lead them out with hands on the heads.
The detention was videoed. The operation was directed by the deputy chair of Maskouski district police department of Brest Stsiapanau. All detainees were taken to the police department, where the police put down their passport data. All under-aged persons were released. Violation reports were composed on the rest. Later at the police department the lieutenant-colonel Stsiapanau said that false banknotes with charges of Lukashenka were found in the room where the meeting took place and a criminal case could be brought on this fact. Stsiapanau also said that in the café the police found a party of the Ukrainian vodka without documentary stamps. The police accused the detainees of an unauthorized assembly. Mr. Shymanski, chair of Brest BPF office, stated that such accusations were senseless as it was an open assembly of a party structure that did not demand any sanction of the authorities.
Pavel Seviarynets was detained as well. At first he was kept in an unknown place and three hours later was taken to the police department. The duty policeman refused to give any information. As said by Andrei Liubianchuk, an activist of the movement for organization of a Christian democratic party, Pavel has been released. However, all action participants including Seviarynets were told to come to a trial at 10 a.m. on 22 August.
On 20 August Seviarynets was summonsed to the police department and taken to court. He is charged under article 23.34 of the Administrative Code, ‘violation of the order of holding mass actions’. A fortnight ago Seviarynets spent 15 days in jail on the same charges.