‘Death’ was walking on Niamiha in the company of policemen in mufti

2009 2009-06-08T22:33:18+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/niamiga1.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 5 June several volunteers of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee held a theatric performance for abolishment of the death penalty in Belarus.

Long before the beginning of the action policemen in mufti started gathering near the House of Fashion situated at the crossing of Peramozhtsau Avenue and Niamiha Street. The notorious deputy head of Tsentralny district police department of Minsk was hiding at a distance under the protection of riot policemen. Nevertheless, a ten of volunteers decided to hold their performance.

The symbolic images of a soldier, death and hangman in the appropriate clothes and masks immediately drew the attention of passers-by and the police.

After checking the performers’ documents the policemen immediately warned them about administrative punishment for mass action. Some policemen in mufti were making video shots of the action together with a cameraman of the Belarusian TV.

The human rights defender Valiantsin Stefanovich tried to explain to the police administration that their demands were groundless because according to Article 35 of the Constitution every citizen had the right to ‘freedom of assemblies, meetings, street processions and picketing’. However, the policemen didn’t change their mind, that’s why after the warning the action participants only handed out to passers-by special postcards with the call to the president of Belarus to abolish the death penalty.

During the action the police detained Illia Petravets who was also videoing the performance. He was guarded to the police station ‘for identification’.

Bear in mind that on 1 January there has been launched the campaign Human rights defenders against the death penalty. Various actions and informational measures have been planned within its limits.