Salihorsk: Police Detain Meeting Participants
On 2 March about 300 people gathered in the central square of the town of Salihorsk to take part in a meeting for protection of the social guarantees. The action was violently dispersed by the police with participation of the riot squad that came from Minsk.
Among the aims of the meeting there was demonstration of disagreement with forced fundraising for the town repairs timed to the 50-year jubilee, expression of solidarity with the entrepreneurs and protest against the liquidation of social guarantees.
One of the important points of the meeting resolution was the immediate release of political prisoners. The meeting started at 2 p.m. In five minutes the square was ringed by the police.
All in all, nine people were detained:
- Ryhor Astapenia
- Zmitser Banko
- Henadz Kudzelka
- Anatol Mirashnichenka
- Krystsina Samoilava
- Ivan Shyla
- Uladzimir Shyla
- Andrei Tychyna
- Aliaksei Valabuyeu
Most of the detainees belong to the underground organization Young Front. During the detention pensioner Kudzelka felt bed and was taken away from the police station by ambulance. He was taken to Starobinski hospital because of heart problems.
The police drew violation reports on all detainees but Valabuyeu, who was released after giving explanations. Some of the detainees were under age and were released from the police station as well. Tomorrow all eight ‘violators’ will be tried.
Pavel Batuyeu, one of the meeting organizers, said: ‘After the end of the action I was invited to the police chief, who specially came to us from Minsk. I was informed that they will give an ‘appropriate evaluation’ to our actions. Most probably, they will not start any proceedings against us now, but can use today’s event for preventive arrests on the eve of the Freedom Day, 25 March.’