Mahiliou: pressurization of the initiative group of Ryhor Kastusiou
The members of the initiative group of a member of the Belarusian Popular Front Party Ryhor Kastusiou (running at electoral district #90 in Shklou) are pressurized. In particular, the local KGB officers interrogated without any sufficient reasons the head of Kastusiou’s team Barys Vyrvich, and one of its members, Valiantsina Shchetnikava.
‘On 4 August an unknown person called to my mobile. He introduced himself as a KGB officer and proposed that we met. I explained to him that there exists an official procedure by which people are summonsed to a conversation by KGB officers. When I arrived home, my son told me that some people had come to us and had been looking for me. They introduced themselves as KGB officers, but refused to show their documents. One of them said he was Ihar Viktaravich, responsible for Bialynichy district. Soon there came the local police inspector Alexander Rusetski and the forensic expert of Bialynichy district police department, senior police lieutenant Kiryl Khlus. They took my fingerprints. They explained their interest to me by the explosion that had taken place on 4 July in Minsk in relation to which I was suspected as a member of an oppositional party,’ said Barys Vyrvich.
The same day Valiantsina Shchetnikava received a telephone from the man who introduced himself as a KGB officer Dzmitry Krymau. ‘He asked where my son was. I answered that my son was living abroad and last visited me in 2007. The following day the same KGB officer phoned again and invited me to the KGB office. He warned me that if I did not come on my own, I would be found and guarded there. I went to them. Comrade Krymau came with a paper where there were some data and a photo of my son. Then he started asking questions about my son’s traumas and operation and about his participation in the national football team. At the departure he asked whether my son was serving in the French legion. He said that my son was a sportsman and therefore could be there,’ said Valiantsina Shchetnikava.
Barys Vyrvich and Valiantsina Shchetnikava consider these actions of the law-enforcement agencies unlawful and directed at their intimidation as members of Ryhor Kastusiou’s initiative group. They have already addressed the procuracy of Mahiliou oblast with appropriate complains.
Human rights activists for free elections