“Freedom to Aliaksandar Barazenka!” actions held in Minsk
Several actions demanding to release political prisoners were held in the center of Minsk on the Day of Belarusian Solidarity, November 16. Activists of the civil campaign “European Belarus”, “Young Front” and “Young Belarus” came to the squares of the Belarusian capital carrying portraits of Aliaksandar Barazenka.
One of the rallies of solidarity took place at Yakub Kolas square. Activists of the civil campaign “European Belarus” and “Young Front” holding portraits of Alyaksandr Barazenka stood near the Philharmonic Hall. The young people shouted “Freedom to Political Prisoners!”, “Freedom to Barazenka!” The action lasted for 15 minutes; none of the participants were detained.
Another action was carried out near the Kamarouski Market. Young opposition activists, standing with portraits of the political prisoner, attracted attention of passers-by. People of different age came up to the participants of the action and asked about Aliaksandar Barazenka, arrested for participation in a peaceful rally of entrepreneurs.
More than 20 activists of the initiative “Young Belarus” came to Kastrychnitskaya Square in the evening of November 16. The activists with portraits of Aliaksandar Barazenka stood only for some minutes and were forced out of the square by riot policemen in civvies.
Activists of the “European Belarus” tried to follow the route: Department Store-KGB building- detention jail in Valadarski Street. The activists with portraits of the political prisoner attached to their chests and backs and with their arms behind heads, marched to the detention facility where Barazenka was kept. At the intersection of the Independence Avenue and Valadarski Street, riot policemen in plain clothes ran up to them, pushing them into inner yards. However, some protesters managed to reach Haradski Val Street under police escort where they were set free.
A solidarity action was also held near Chalyuskintsau Park, where young activists came out with portraits of Aliaksandar Barazenka.
On November 16, activists of the “European Belarus” campaign posted portraits of the opposition leaders and a journalist disappeared in Belarus in metro and pedestrian subways downtown Minsk. Maria Kasyan and Marharyta Karol were detained at metro station Academy of Sciences. The girls were searched at a metro police station. The police confiscated the portraits but did not draw up any reports against them and let the girls go.
Solidarity actions were also held in the Belarusian regions – Brest, Salihorsk, Hrodna, Vitsebsk, Mahilou, Homel, Mozyr and other cities.
Activist of the civil campaign “European Belarus” Aliaksandar Barazenka was arrested on October 27, in the building of the Preliminary Investigation Committee of the City Police Department, where he had been called for questioning. The oppositionist is one of the figures of the Process of 14, a criminal case, instigated on article 342 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus against participants of a peaceful rally of entrepreneurs, held in Minsk on January 10, 2008. It is remarkable that he was arrested just after the European Union lifted sanctions on high ranking Belarusian officials.
10 young oppositionists, convicted over the same case, are political prisoners, too, as they are sentenced to restraint of liberty ad can be thrown in prison at any moment.