Minsk: Afghan war veteran Kanstantsin Ulanau arrested in connection with Mikalai Autukhovich’s case

2009 2009-07-08T16:53:23+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 8 June the Afghan war veteran Kanstantsin Ulanau was detained by officers of the Chief directorate on organized crime combat of the Interior Ministry of Belarus.

The Charter’97 press-centre has been informed about that by the co-chairman of the organizing committee on creation of the association of Afghan war veterans Fatherland Defenders, human rights activist Aleh Vouchak.

‘Kanstantsin Ulanau is a retired ensign, a gunman. He has war decorations for participation in Afghan war. In 2005 he was on hunger strike with Mikalai Autukhovich, protesting against destruction of his business. Today morning a Mercedes with tinted glasses came near Ulanau’s house. First unknown people in mufti started to video and picture his house entry. At 8.45 a.m. a chief officer of the organized crime department of the Interior Ministry Sakalou entered his apartment. A search warrant was demonstrated. A sporting gun was seized from the veteran, though he had permission for it. Mikalai Ulanau was said that he was suspected in implication in preparation of blasts together with Mikalai Autukhovich,’ Aleh Vouchak said.

Aleh Vouchak says Mikalai Ulanau’s arrest is connected with creation of the association of Afghan war veterans Fatherland Defender.

‘Mikalai Ulanau was among those many Afghan war veterans who refused to accept jubilee decorations from Alexander Lukashenka. In fact, about 40% of the Belarusian Afghan war veterans refused to take the medals. It seems that the regime has decided that all these people are members of our organization, and decided to tighten up repressions in order to intimidate others. Amid the difficult economic crisis Lukashenka seems to be seized by fear, and he invents non-existent ‘enemies of the people’,’ Mr. Vouchak says.