Minsk: Meeting of Entrepreneurs Is Watched by Riot Police

2008 2008-01-10T16:38:22+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

About 1 000 entrepreneurs gathered in Kastrychnitskaya Square of Minsk. Among them there are politicians Siarhei Kaliakin, Aliaksandr Milinkevich, Ales Mikhalevich and Mikola Statkevich. The police warned the people that the procession to the presidential administration is banned. Then the meeting participants defined delegates who went to the administration for negotiations. 

At 12.50 a.m. there were about 1 500 people in the square. They were holding such slogans as ‘We want to live according to laws, not according to someone’s decrees!’, etc. 

 At 12.55 Radio Liberty informed that about 500 people gathered in the central square of Mahiliou. According to Charter’97 at this time the number of protesters reached 2 000 persons. A group of negotiators went to the House of Officers. They were met by a representative of the presidential guard who promised that soon a worker of the department of people’s reception would soon come out to them. Nearby there are several police cars. The presidential administration is guarded by increased forces.

At 1.30 p.m. Anatol Shumchanka and one more entrepreneur came to the presidential administration for negotiations with an officer Miadzvedzeva and told her that in the case they would not return to the action participants in 15 minutes, the protesters would independently decided what do next. On the way to the action the police detained a leader of entrepreneurs Aliaksandr Makayeu together with his son. 

At 1.50 the entrepreneurs decided to go to the presidential administration. 

At 1.57 they overlapped Nezalezhnastsi Avenue.

At 2.05 the traffic in Nezalezhnastsi Avenue and Engels Street was stopped. The riot police overlapped Engels Street. Entrepreneurs had clashes with road police. More police cars arrived. 

At 2.18 the entrepreneurs headed to Nezalezhnastsi Square, mostly along the pavements. The policemen warned Aliaksandr Milinkevich about criminal responsibility for organization of the meeting. 

At 2.38 the entrepreneurs reached Nezalezhnastsi Square and approached the main building of the Belarusian State University. The riot police ran towards the stairs of the House of the Government. The Avenue is still overlapped by the protestors. The square is full of people who shout ‘Job!’ and ‘Sidorski, go out!’. (Siarhei Sidorski is the present prime-minister of Belarus).