Artist Ales Pushkin detained on Belarusian border
Famous artist Ales Pushkin was detained last night on a train from Warsaw to Minsk.
Ales Pushkin was returning from Warsaw, where he was invited on the invitation of Belsat TV company to. As the train arrived in Brest (about 01.10 a.m.), Belarusian border guards ordered the artist to get off the train. They didn’t explain any reasons. Pushkin had to spend 2.5 hours in the customs control department.
As artist Ales Pushkin told in an interview to the Charter’97 press center, he was detained “for the Belarusian language”.
“At 01.10 a.m., I became a victim of the most serious and careful search in my life at the station Brest-Tsentralny,” Ales Pushkin tells. “Border control inspector Lyudmila Ulasava got in the car. It was good until she turned attention I was speaking Belarusian. Ulasava took my passport and went away, but soon returned accompanied by a border control officer. They searched me. I had some books I had bought in Warsaw in the “Center of Modern Attention”. The border guards ordered me to leave the car and guarded me to the customs control department.”
According to Ales Pushkin, he was searched during 2.5 hours, confiscated two his books and released.
“A chief of the central customs control of Brest #09-0206 pretended he didn’t understand Belarusian,” Ales Pushkin says. “At the same time he drew his attention to the books I had bought in Warsaw and looked through them. The customs officers drew up a report of seizure of two books “Report on Detention of Goods and Documents for Then #015014”. I was confiscated a book “Belarus. Generation Gap. Differences in Aims, Values, Strategies” under the editorship of Andrei Dynko and “Belarusian News #2” (New York – Warsaw). It’s nonsense. The customs officers asked me for what I needed the books. I told I was taking them from free Poland to unfree Belarus to teach people in my village wisdom, the good, the eternal.”
Ales Pushkin was set free after 2.5 hours of detention. The books were confiscated till May 14 for examination.
Belarusian artist Ales Pushkin is known for his performances on public and political themes. One of his most famous performances was in 1999 when Ales Pushkin turned over a wheelbarrow full of dung in front of the Lukashenka’s administration building. The artist was given a 2-year suspended sentence.