Deported from Belarus bishop called in for questioning in case of blast in Minsk

2009 2009-02-19T21:12:02+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Protestant bishop Veniamin Brukh received a summons to appear in the Tsentralny district militia department of Minsk. The summons says he is called as a witness in a case of the blast in Minsk on official Independence Day.

Veniamin Brukh was detained by Belarusian border guards at night October 16, 2008 at airport Minsk-2. He was guarded to the remand prison and than deported from Belarus.

“It’s funny – the right hand of the Belarusian authorities doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. The migration department deports, and the department of internal affaires calls. I’d like to come back in Belarus, which I regard as my homeland. But I am still banned entry to the country,” Veniamin Brukh commented on the situation.

Brukh is a protestant bishop and a pastor, a famous minister in Belarus, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ in Minsk, one of the largest protestant religious communities in Belarus. He served as the pastor of this church during 1991-2002, Telegraf reminds.

“Deportation of ministers and entry ban for religious figures is widespread now. Some days ago, Danish citizens were deported from the country, they were accused of “spreading religious ideas and organizing religious activity”. Some tens of catholic clergymen and nuns are banned entry to Belarus,” Christian Human Rights House said in this connection.

Protestant pastor Yaroslav Lukasik, deported 1.5 years ago, lives in Ukraine now. The Belarusian authorities banned him entry to the country for a period of 5 years. Yaroslav Lukasik comments on the situation: “It’s a comedy drama. I believe it will end soon, and those who had to leave Belarus will be able to come back.”