Ales Bialiatski: ‘A civil intimidation campaign has been started against the background of the electoral campaign’
On 11 July human rights activists, relatives of the arrested ex-members of White Legion and democratic leaders held a press conference dedicated to the groundless arrests in connection with the blast which had taken place on 4 July in Minsk, at celebration of the official Independence Day.
Niza Lazouskaya, deputy head of the World Association of Belarusians Backauscyna, said: ‘The people who are elite of our nation, I personally know many of them, are accused of a crime against peaceful citizens. It is impossible…’ She emphasized that the underground sportive-patriotic organization White Legion, which ceased to exist long ago, was dealing with sportive-patriotic upbringing of youth only and did not prepare oppositionists to seizure of power.
The human rights activist Valiantsin Stefanovich concentrated on the legal aspects of the detentions and the charges given to the detainees. He pointed that there was no even indirect evidence of the detained persons’ guilt in the police reports drawn on them.
The deputy head of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Ales Bialiatski emphasized that ‘the present wave of repressions reminds of the notorious Vitsebsk blasts, after which the police groundlessly detained the activist Pavel Krasouski, but failed to prove his guilt’.
According to Bialiatski, on 10 July the police detained the BPF activist Illia Bohdan. However, he was interrogated not about the blasts, but about the activities of human rights organizations during the electoral campaign.
He stated that at present Belarus exists in the conditions of a police state, which shows wonders in bugging the phones and struggling against its political opponents, but is absolutely unfit for combating real terrorism…
‘The police has chosen the most primitive version and started a campaign of civil intimidation against the background of the present electoral campaign’, summed up Bialiatski.
The human rights activist Liudmila Hraznova addressed the present authorities, lawyers, judges and KGB officers with the call to remember about the supremacy of the laws and the Constitution and not act according to the ‘telephone law’.
Pavel Kuryianovich’s sister Palina and Siarzhuk Chyslau’s mother Halina told the present journalists how the searches and detentions were conducted.
Photos by Nasha Niva