European March Organizer Yauhen Afnahel Arrested Right after Negotiations with Minsk Authorities
On 8 October Minsk Tsentralny district court sentenced the European March applicant, activist of the civil campaign For Freedom Yauhen Afnahel to 10 days of arrest. This information was confirmed to Charter’97 site by the staff of the remand jail in Akrestin Street, where the oppositionist was put. As it became known to Charter’97 site Yauhen Afnahel was under observation since he left Minsk City Executive Committee where he participated in the negotiations with the city authorities on holding the European March. The oppositionist was meanly caught by the police on fabricated charges. The trial of the applicant of the European March was closed, without a lawyer. Then the activist was taken to the remand prison in Akrestsin Street.
On 8 October Yauhen Afnahel together with other applicants for the European March had an appointment with head of ideological department of Minsk City Executive Committee Henadz Kurbeka, deputy state prosecutor of Minsk Aliaksandr Stuk and deputy chief of Minsk city police department Ivan Melnikau. As Yauhen Afnahel said after the negotiations the meting with the city authorities was ‘constructive’: ‘Both sides express the desire to discuss the variants of holding of the European March. Both we and the authorities express the desire to hold a peaceful action. We offered to give the information about the European March on state television, radio and news-papers and asked them to give us the cars with sound amplifiers. It was the first time after many years when the authorities didn’t announce the opposition the ready decision, but were holding a dialog. The Minsk City Executive Committee representatives said the decision will be taken in view of the today’s meeting and will be sent to the European March organizers.’
But in some hours Afnahel was arrested. Bear in mind that a member of the European March organizing committee Zmitser Barodka, a democratic activist Leanid Navitski, a human rights activist Sviatlana Harohavik and the activists of the civil campaign For Freedom Ihar Balykin and Ihar Tishko are also kept in prison in Akrestsin Street in Minsk.