Vitsebsk: two flags – two detainees

2009 2009-09-15T18:56:59+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

On 14 September at about 6 p.m. two white-red-white flags were hanged out in Peramohi Square and Svabody Square. The local activists Siarhei Kavalenka and Taras Surhan were detained by police.

The flag in Peramohi Square was removed by police in fifteen minutes. Several minutes after it the policemen detained the member of the Conservative-Christian Party BPF Siarhei Kavalenka who was taking photos of the flag. Kavalenka was guarded to Chyhunachny district police department of Vitsebsk for questioning.

The flag in Svabody Square was hanged out half an hour after the first one. It hanged not far from the pedestrian underground crossing. An unknown man tore it down and threw on the ground. A street photographer picked it up and put in his bag just half a minute before a police patrol appeared nearby. The police officers were looking for the flag. The photographer refused to give the flag to them. He said that he would rather make a soft toy out of it and would take photos of people together with it.

At that time another group of policemen detained the activist of Young Belarus Taras Surhan who was walking over the bridge in Kirau Street together with a friend. Surhan was guarded to Kastrychnitski district police department of Vitsebsk.

Mr. Surhan thinks that he and Kavalenka could be detained as they have been several times fined or imprisoned for using white-red-white flags.