Meeting of Entrepreneurs Takes Place athwart Provocations of Authorities
At 12 a.m. on 10 December in Kastrychnitskaya Square a meeting of entrepreneurs started. Here’s the chronology of the events.
8.30 a.m.: the workers of Maskouski district police department of Minsk detained a leader of the entrepreneurs Aliaksandr Makayeu. Last week Makayeu was detained by workers of Leninski district police department of Minsk. The policemen composed on him a report for ‘dirty swearing’ and handed to him a summons for 12 December.
9.15: a leader of entrepreneurs Aliaksandr Tsatsura was detained in his apartment and taken to Minsk oblast prosecutor’s office. Earlier Tsatsura was visited by workers of Salihorsk prosecutor’s office who warned him against participation in the meeting of entrepreneurs.
9.30: an organizer of the meeting Viktar Kryval was forcedly taken to Minsk oblast prosecutor’s office from his private home in the village of Khatliany. He was proposed to sign a warning about the inadmissibility of holding the meeting in Kastychnitskaya Square because it was authorized in Banhalor Square. Viktar Kryval refused to it and was released.
10.00: the chair of the public association For Free Development of Business Viktar Harbachou informed RFE/RL that the police had detained the meeting organizers Mikalai Pakhabau and Aliaksandr Talstyka. According to Harbachou, they were taken to Minsk oblast prosecutor’s office. There the officers of the prosecutor’s office demanded from them to write explanatory notes and sign the undertakings not to take part in the action of protest.
10.25, Babruisk: the entrepreneurs gather near the local center of social employment, at the crossing of Hohal and Urytski streets. ‘There are about 40 of us here. We demand from the authorities the guarantees of our employment, because presidential decree #760 liquidates our working places at the town markets,’ commented an entrepreneur Tatsiana Lazarava.
10.30: Mikalai Pakhabau was detained again, when transporting the loudspeakers for the meeting. He was taken to Savetski district police department of Minsk.
10.35: the policemen of Maskouski district police department Ihar Dziachuk and Dzmitry Smut arrived at Minsk oblast prosecutor’s office. They told that they had an order to take Aliaksandr Makayeu to Maskouski district police department of Minsk.
10.50: Aliaksandr Tsatsura was taken from Salihorsk to Minsk oblast prosecutor’s office.
11.00: the police tried to make Tsatsura sign that he refused to return to Salihorsk by the police car that had taken him to Minsk. Mr. Tsatsura wrote that he refused to do it because it violated his constitutional rights.
11.10: the police still detained Aliaksandr Tsatsura and say that the entrepreneur’s wife allegedly told them to take him home on their car.
11.20: Aliaksandr Makayeu was taken to the prosecutor’s office and proposed to sign a warning about the inadmissibility of law violations during the meeting. He refused to sign the paper and was released. However, soon he was detained again and taken to Maskouski district police department of Minsk.
The police started preparing to the action at 11 a.m. A police evacuator removed the cars that were parked in Engels Street, not far from Kastrychnitskaya Square. Then their place was occupied by busses with curtains on the windows. From time to time some policemen put the curtains up and looked out. Cars and busses with policemen were also hid behind the Palace of the Republic.
At 11.45 somebody turned on some Belarusian pop-music through the loudspeakers in Kastrychnitskaya Square. Most probably, it was done to prevent the meeting participants from hearing the speakers.
At 12 a.m. there were only several hundred people in the square. Among them there were many journalists and policemen in mufti. Then a police car with loudspeakers arrived to warn the people that the meeting was unauthorized and the police could use force and special means during its dispersal. Nevertheless, till 1 p.m. about 1 000 gathered in the square.
During the meeting Aliaksandr Kazulin’s daughter Volha was passing the square on a car together with two her friends. They showed the portraits of Aliaksandr Kazulin out of the windows and signaled to the meeting participants.
The car was stopped by the road police. Volha Kazulina was fined for unmotivated signals. Besides, the police captain V.Asinovich demanded from her to open the boot and found there the Vybor bulletin. According to the Belarusian laws, the editions the circulation of which does not exceed 299 copies can be distributed without state registration. However, Volha was taken to Tsentralny police department of Minsk. Her friends drove there together with her.