Action of solidarity with political prisoners: day five

2009 2009-05-06T19:56:14+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Before the rally of solidarity that was to start in Kastrychnitskaya Square of Minsk on 5 May in the evening, several street cleaning machines arrived to the scene. For some time people couldn’t stay on the square, as they risked to be showered by water.

It is obvious that the authorities found an original way to prevent people from gathering in the center of Minsk. It seems to be the first time when the square is washed in rush hours, as many people walk there at that time.

On May 4 participants of the rally of solidarity with portraits of political prisoners sat on the ground. And after the street cleaning machines there was so much water left that there were puddles on the square.

However, the solidarity rally has taken place. More than 40 activists of the civil campaign European Belarus and Young Front gathered there. They were holding portraits of political prisoners Mikalai Autukhovich, Yury Liavonau and Uladzimir Asipenka, a streamer ‘Freedom to political prisoners!’, a national white-red-white and European flags.

Well-known people like the leader of the European Belarus Andrei Sannikau, the Charter’97 coordinator Zmitser Bandarenka, the activists of the European Belarus Zmitser Barodka, Yauhen Afnahel, Pavel Yukhnevich, Maxim Viniarski, Alexander Atroshchankau, the former political prisoner Andrei Kim and the participant of the ‘process of 14’ Maxim Dashuk and others have taken part in the protest.

Street sprinklers had to leave the square, but two dozens of riot policemen arrived there. They stood in front of demonstrators in a tight row, screening them off from passers-by.

A national white-red-white flag and a flag of the European Belarus were put by the unknown on the building opposite the square as a sign of solidarity with the protesters.

Demonstrators were chanting ‘Freedom!’, ‘Long live Belarus!’. Addressing riot policemen, they shouted ‘Shame on you!’

Actions of solidarity with political prisoners are held in Minsk every day. Belarusians come to the streets expressing their solidarity with political prisoners. One of the political prisoners, Mikalai Autukhovich, continues an indefinite hunger strike which poses a serious threat to his life.

At the end of the rally young activists called upon Belarusians to come to Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk on May 6 at 6 p.m.