Police in Minsk Disperse Demonstration in Support of Kazulin
Four opposition activists were grabbed by police in downtown Minsk on Sunday afternoon as they together with several more youths attempted to stage a demonstration in support of imprisoned former presidential candidate Alexander Kazulin who turned 52 on that day.
Around 10 youths, members of the United Civic Party's Young Democrats, gathered at the city's central Kastrychnitskaya Square, unfolding a sign reading "Freedom to Kazulin" and intending to distribute images of Belarusian political prisoners to passers-by. Arriving police apprehended Mikhail Pashkevich, Mikhail Kryvau, Siarhey Kliuyeu and Kanstantsin Simankou and pushed the other activists out of the square.
The four were taken to the Centralny district police station where they were allowed to go without charges after having their IDs checked.
Dr. Kazulin, rector of Belarusian State University between 1996 and 2003 who was a candidate in Belarus' 2006 presidential election, was arrested during a police crackdown on a peaceful post-election opposition march on March 25, 2006. He was found guilty of hooliganism and the organization of group actions disturbing the public peace and sentenced to 5.5 years in prison.