Police releases under-aged vandals

2008 2008-11-03T18:18:59+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The two young men who had overturned and broke five crosses in the wooden area of Kurapaty, have been sent to their parents.

RFE/RL has been told about that in the police department of Barauliany, Minsk district.

Policemen said that the both detained are under age.

‘And now the materials of the case are under additional examination. An officer of crime detection department in Barauliany police department is in charge of the case. He has received all the materials,’ he said.

The policeman has also explained that this examination is to last up to 10 days. In case of necessity, the prosecutor of Minsk district can extend it up to one month.

As for the names of the detained, the policeman said that ‘he does not have this information’. However, a policeman Aleh, who detained the young men, and who later was a witness in the police, said that allegedly the name of one of the vandals is Uladzimir Shyshla. But he is not sure whether it is the exact name.

As we have informed, on November 1 at half part 9 p.m. public activists detained two young men who were breaking crosses in the memorial site Kurapaty.

It is not the first occasion of vandalism in the wooden area Kurapaty, where in 1937-1941 NKVD punishers shot from 40,000 to 200,000 people according to different estimations. But for the first time it has become possible to detain vandals.

In the end of the 1990ies the tablet on the cross To martyrs of Belarus was broken.

As for the memorial sign ‘From the US nation to people of Belarus for the sake of memory’, there have been 12 cases of vandalism. In 2002 the bench of Clinton was repaired and installed by the US Ambassador to Belarus Michael Kozak.

In December 2005 unknown vandals twice defiled the crosses of Kurapaty, the monument to killed Jews and the icon of Our Lady of Kurapaty (painter Aliaksei Marachkin) by swastikas and Satanist writings. The crosses were broken many times. Criminal actions were opened basing on these facts, however, criminals have never been found. Last year on the eve of Dziady the Cross of Martyrdom was broken, and the Conservative Christian Party Belarusian Popular Front activists renewed it.

Citizens addressed the regime with a call to provide protection of the wooden area of Kurapaty, which is officially a historical and cultural area of the first category. However, as an answer the police department of Minsk district offered the organizing committee to pay for guarding the wooden area of Kurapaty.