Police and KGB burst into ‘Young Front’ office
On 7 August in the evening riot policemen and KGB officers broke into the head office of the Young Front in Karal Street in Minsk. Two entrance doors were broken. The leaders of the organization Zmitser Dashkevich and Arthur Finkevich, as well as 4 activists of the Young Front and an activist of the civil campaign European Belarus Pavel Kuryianovich were arrested.
As Arthur Finkevich told to the Charter’97 press-centre before the arrest, law-enforcers were watching for about an hour outside the building where the apartment was rented by the Young Front activists. Then they rang the door and demanded to open. They didn’t show the search warrant, they simply said that they had received an anonymous phone call about a dead body in the apartment. When the doors were not open to them, policemen and riot policemen started to burst it by a tool reminding a sledge-hammer. Zmitser Dashkevich, Arthur Finkevich and a few activists of the Young Front were in the apartment at that moment.
After the search all opposition activists in the apartment were arrested. They were placed into a police car and taken to a police department of Maskouski district police department of Minsk. The mobile phones of the detainees were switched off.
Last year in the run-up to the European March an activist of the civil campaign European Belarus Alexander Atroshchankau was arrested. Policemen burst into his apartment through a window on the second floor (!) saying they had received a call that a dead body was kept in the apartment. They arrested Atroshchankau and seized all office equipment and informational materials from his apartment. The activist was sentenced to 10 days of arrest, allegedly for ‘using foul language’.
From the police department Zmitser Dashkevich, Arthur Finkevich and Pavel Kuryianovich were sent to the detention centre in Akrestsin Street. They were kept there until 2 am. Other detainees detained were released without any report drawn up. They were fingerprinted, videoed and pictured.