Illya Bohdan: “About 100 persons were arrested in blast case. All of them were called political”

2008 2008-07-21T17:21:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The released opposition activists tell how many people are in reality detained in the case related to the blast in Minsk on July 4.

On July 20 after 11 a.m. activist of the Belarusian Popular Front Anton Koipish and Illya Bohdan were released from the remand prison in Akrestsin Street, Minsk. They were detained for 10 days as suspects in a criminal case relating the blast at the concert on July 4 in Minsk dedicated to Independence Day. Charges were not brought up against them.

21-year-old Illya Bohdan and 22-year-old Anton Koipish left the remand prison together. At that moment somebody shouted a greeting to the activists and waived a hand from the grilled window. Illya Bohdan told that he spent the last day in the same cell with Anton Koipish:

- I think there were about 100 of persons like us. In the end all persons who were arrested in this criminal case as suspects, were called “political”. There were students, and people who had done some administrative offences. These were sweeping arrests, and it’s hard to explain their aim. It is a scheme of many moves, and I think it is to last for quite a long time,” the activist said on an interview to RFE/RL.

Illya told that KGB officers detained him in the evening near the Academy of Science and took him home, where a search took place. They seized a scotch tape, foil, stickers, liquid for washing tiles, and a system unit of his computer. Illya refused to give evidence in the investigation department. He spent more than 24 hours in the so-called “glass” in the police department. The guys spent in the ward of the remand prison almost all the time, they only went out for a blood test and for reading a huge file of documents of experts’ examinations in the blast case.

“I was in two wards, and there were other “demolition man” there. These people once were big men in the criminal world. And they were indignant greatly, saying that the incident shows that the regime is testing the new method of detention of both opposition and common citizens. After initiating a criminal case, policemen can visit a common citizen’s apartment and find there scotch tape and aluminum foil, which are mentioned in this criminal case,” Illya Bohdan said.

Anton Koipish was also detained on July 10. He was at home, when KGB men came, searched his apartment and seized the system unit of his computer. When Anton refused to carry it, a KGB investigator arrested him for 3 days. And then he was warned that he would be arrested for 10 days. The interrogation of Anton lasted for about 3 hours, as he demanded the investigator to write down the text in Belarusian.

“It is very stuffy in the ward. The ward is 19-20 square metres. There were 5 persons there. First all kind of criminals was put there, and then “terrorists” were placed there. We were sleeping on bare planks, not undressing or undressing partially to put the clothes beneath. I do not know, how many detainees there were. But I understand there were dozens of them, while minority of them were oppositionists,” Anton said.