Freedom to Political Prisoners
Activists of the campaign “Jeans for Freedom!” have gathered in the streets of Minsk city to demand from the authorities to release political prisoners and youth activists who remain in jail: Alexander Kazulin, Andrei Klimau, Zmitser Dashkevich, Artur Finkevich, Yury Liavonau and Mikalai Autukhovich.
Ten activists of the campaign formed a line near Sts Peter and Paul Church in Niamiha Street. They were holding portraits of political prisoners. One of the participants explained that that place had been chosen because the activists of the campaign “Jeans for Freedom” who rallied in support of independence of Belarus, had been beaten up and detained there on December 13th. This time the police did not interfere, and the activists stood for about 20 minutes.
Another rally was held at the same time, but a little bit further in Niamiha Street. 30 activists of the campaign stood in a line from a crossing with Ramanauskaya Street to Karol Street.
The both rallies attracted attention of passers-by, passengers of public transport and drivers. Drivers honked in support of the young people, some stopped and asked about people on the photos.
Banners “Freedom to Political Prisoners!” appeared in the city as well.
Rallies of solidarity with the disappeared and the political prisoners were held in Navahradak and Polatsak. In Polatsak young people gathered in the central square with candles and portraits of the abducted Hanchar, Krasouski, Zavadsky, and Zakharanka. The rally lasted for about 20 minutes, and after that Young Front activists were taken to a police department for identity check. After their passport details were copied, they were released.
In Navahradak the Young Front rally was thwarted by special services. “When we gathered on the square and produced portraits of Zmitser Dashkevich and Artur Finkevich, people in mufti ran up to us and called for police. As a result, nine of us spent two hours in a police department. We were video-filmed, and forced to write explanations. Political prisoners’ portraits, leaflets and newspapers in support of Artur Finkevich were confiscated,” an activist Ales Tarnahurski said.
Besides, on December 16th rallies of solidarity were held in other cities of Belarus: in Mahiliou, Zhlobin, Brest, Salihorsk, and Mazyr.