Minsk: dispersal of opposition rally near central KGB office

2008 2008-12-10T19:41:01+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 10 December youth activists dressed in stripped prison clothing protested near the central office of the State Security Committee (KGB).

8 activists of Belarusian youth organizations, dressed in makeshift prison clothing, came to the KGB building with tablets ‘I am an independent journalist’, ‘I am an independent observer’, ‘I am a human rights activist’, etc. The participants of the action went round a circle with their hands behind their heads near the entrance to the building.

Minister of internal affairs Uladzimir Navumau, who was probably returning to work after a lunch break, passed by the protesters. 5 minutes later a car with dozen of policemen in sports suits drove up to the KGB office. The police started forcing the oppositionists out of Nezalezhnastsi Avenue behind the KGB building where all of them were arrested.

The detained oppositionists spent two hours at Tsentralny district police department and were set free. No reports were drawn up against them. As the Charter’97 press center has learnt from Artur Finkevich, one of the leaders of Young Belarus, the policemen behaved rudely. When he tried to defend a guy who was made to stand face to the wall and raise his hands, a police officer hit him on his back two times.

Nearly an hour passed, and human rights activists, handing round texts Declaration of Human Rights, were arrested near GUM department store in Nezalezhnastsi Avenue. Among the detainees there is Ales Byalyatski, vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

Human rights activists were released 1,5 hours after the detention. No reports were drawn. Physical force was used against them during the detention. A great number of riot policemen can be seen in the center of Minsk today. They repress all attempts to hold rallies on Human Rights Day.