Minsk: Five Days of Jail for Celebration of Halloween

2007 2007-11-02T19:05:36+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

In the evening of 31 October the participants of Halloween celebration Andrei Kim, Tatsiana Lashkarova, Valiantsin Sakalouski and Yury Shalin were detained by the police. They spent the night and the following day at Savetski district police department of Minsk. After 9 p.m. on 1 November they were taken to the remand prison in Akrestsin Street. The trials were appointed on 2 November. 

The youngsters were kept in custody for quite a long time for participation in a humorous holiday, celebrated by the whole world! Some 15-20 people in carnival clothes were going to congratulate the citizens of Minsk with Halloween. The action had nothing to do with politics.

The police detained four action participants who were dressed as mummies and a journalist of the Nasha Niva newspaper Yaraslau Stseshyk, who videoed the events. According to Stseshyk, the policemen stated that those who were dressed as mummies looked like some criminals, who were wanted. They also said to him that he had no right to use his video camera and also reminded of a wanted criminal. 

Later the journalist was released without any report drawn. The four participants of Halloween celebration were charged with violation of article 17.1 (petty hooliganism). According to Nasha Niva, in the police reports it was written that the youngsters laid the bandages on the shop counters and did not react to the salespeople’s remarks, thus demonstrating ‘respect to the society’. The detainees stated that it was not true. In fact, they wrapped the bandages around one another, turning into mummies. They disagreed with the police reports and refused to sign them. 

Bear in mind that in the evening of 31 October the riot police rudely pushed out of Kastrychnitskaya Square all those, who came there in carnival dresses. 

On 2 November Savetski district court of Minsk tried Tatsiana Lashkarova and sentenced her to 5 days of jail.