Riot police disperse action in support of arrested public activists. Anatol Liabedzka is beaten

2008 2008-07-15T20:21:22+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 14 July an action demanding to release opposition activists, unlawfully arrested after the blast in Minsk on 4 July, was dispersed at Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk. More than 50 people came to the square with portraits of political prisoners, and unfurled national Belarusian and EU flags. More than 100 riot policemen were thrown against the participants of the action.

The people were forced out from Kastrychnitskaya Square to Internatsyianalnaya Street, and then along Yanka Kupala Street to Bahdanovich Street.

Many well-known politicians visited the action, including the deputy heads of the Belarusian Popular Front Viktar Ivashkevich and Vintsuk Vyachorka, the leader of the United Civil Party Anatol Liabedzka, former member of the House of Representatives Siarhei Skrabets, the Young Front leader Artur Finkevich, activists of the European Belarus civil campaign Palina and Paval Kuryianovichs and others.

The demonstrators chanted ‘Long live Belarus!’ and ‘Freedom for political prisoners!’

Forcing people out from the square, riot police officers beat brutally leader of the United Civil Party Anatol Liabedzka. The politician had to seek medical care as he had hematomas on chest, abdominal area and legs.

All attempts to break cordon were stopped by the police, who were catching the people and pushing them back. One of them beat a photo camera out of a journalist’s hands when he tried to take pictures of the event.

The crackdown of a peaceful action evoked protests of passers-by. Many of them expressed their indignation at unlawful actions of riot policemen who didn’t allow the people to express their protest.

It should be reminded that 13 opposition activists have been detained after the blast in Minsk on 4 July. 10 of then remain in prisons. Human rights activists consider their arrests to be unlawful and politically motivated.