Vitsebsk: police detain Barys Khamaida for handing out leaflets
On 4 February officers of Chyhunachny district police department of Vitsebsk detained the well-known opposition activist Barys Khamaida for handing out leaflets with the national emblem Pahonia. The matter is that the authorities of Vitsebsk oblast propose to make Pahonia the official emblem of Vitsebsk oblast, but take as sample the emblem of Vitsebsk oblast in the times of the Russian Empire.
In the leaflets that were distributed by Khamaida, it was stated that in such a way the authorities purposefully distort the history: Pahonia could be found on the flags of Vitsebsk province yet before the Russian occupation, during the times of the Great Principality of Lithuania, and therefore can by no means be considered as the heraldic heritage of the Russian Empire. At present the project of the emblem is being discussed in the public circles of Vitsebsk, that’s why Vitsebsk activists distribute these leaflets for educational purposes.
The policemen also paid attention to the printed editions that were distributed by the oppositionist, including Uladzimir Padhol’s collection of Lukashenka’s quotations and the Magistrate bulletin, issued by Vitsebsk branch of the BPF Party. The police demanded that Khamaida gave explanations why he stood in the center of the city under a white-red-white umbrella and why his ‘working place’ near the so-called ‘blue house’ in Lenin Street, 28, was decorated with a white-red-white strip and white and red flowers that were presented to Khamaida by a passer-by.