Mass arrests on Independence Day in Minsk
Riot militiamen arrested more than 20 activists of the civil campaign “European Belarus” who wanted to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Belarus in the centre of Minsk.
On July 27 at 7 p.m. in Yanka Kupala park activists of the civil campaign “European Belarus” planned to hold a flash mob dedicated to the Independence Day of Belarus. Each one of the young people took out a copy of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Belarus and started to read it. In a few minutes activists were detained by riot militiamen in mufti. Oppositionists were seized, placed in militia buses and taken to the Tsentralny district militia department of Minsk.
Some of the detained were freed from the militia buses. Youth leaders Yauhen Afnahel, Paval Yukhnevich, Maxim Vinyarski, Aleh Ladutska, activists Palina Kuryanovich, Maryna Zaleuskaya and Ihar Mikhailau were guarded to the militia department.
The oppositionists spent about three hours in the militia department, reports against them were not drawn up.
“On one hand, Lukashenka likes talking about necessity to preserve the independence of the country. On the other hand, Belarusians are arrested only for reading out the Declaration of Sovereignty of Belarus on the day when it was adopted. This demonstrates the attitude of the authorities towards the country’s sovereignty, its history and traditions. The riot militiamen who arrested us read the declaration and asked what the difference was between the declaration and the Constitution. They don’t even know the difference! It shows the level of legal conscience of the Belarusian riot militia,” activist of “European Belarus” Yauhen Afnahel told in an interview to the website charter97.org.
We remind that the Supreme Council of the Belarusian Soviet Republic (BSSR) adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty on July 27, 1990. This important document became the first official step towards the independence of Belarus.
The Declaration of State Sovereignty of Belarus proclaimed the “full state sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus as supremacy and independence of the state power of the republic within the borders of the country, validity of its law, and independence of the republic in foreign relations.”
The new era in the history of our country began on this day. July 27 was proclaimed the Independence Day of Belarus.
On August 25, 1991, the Declaration of State Sovereignty received the status of a constitutional law, on which grounds the Constitution of 1978 was amended. The new Constitution of the Republic of Belarus was adopted on March 15, 1994.
The official authorities cancelled the holiday after the referendum in 1996 that gave unlimited power to Alyaksandr Lukashenka. The Independence Day is now marked on July 3, the day of liberation of Minsk from the Nazi invaders. The democratic community continues to celebrate the Day of Independence on July 27.