Arrests of oppositionists at Dazhynki fest in Kobryn

2009 2009-09-21T17:45:09+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Alyaksandr Mekh, the head of the local branch of the Belarusian Popular Front, was arrested ahead of Lukashenka’s visit to the town.

The so called festival of harvest – Dazhynki – took place in Kobryn on September 19.the festival is celebrated in Belarus annually on a large scale. Alyaksandr Lukashenka arrived in the town for the event. Head of the local branch of the BOF Party Alyaksandr Mekh was arrested before his visit.

Mekh managed to phone journalists of, but couldn’t tell anything, we could just hear how he was detained with the use of physical force.

As learnt from a BPF leader Vintsuk Vyachorka, Alyaksandr Mekh and his minor son had been arrested in the center of Kobryn, when “a helicopter with Lukashenka had been flying above the town”. The activist was detained by unknown people in mufti and guarded to the local militia department.

A detention report was drawn up against Alyaksandr Mekh. The report said the politician had been detained on a “direct suspicion of committing a crime”. Militiamen said they an anonymous person had called to the department and told Mekh had been going with weapon to the city center, where the festival took place.

The BPF activist didn’t heave any arms on him, but he had to spend more than three hours in the militia department.

“The authorities take all measures to isolate the opposition during such events. They can catch everyone, it is offhand and unlawful. Nobody is protected in this state,” Mekh told after the release.

Vintsuk Vyachorka also said KGB officers visited another BPF activist Stanislau Charetski this morning. They stayed in his flat for some hours and didn’t allow him to leave the house.

“This is a shut up operation in order to control the town before Lukashenka’s visit. We have a system of mass fear and grovelling of officials and militia, who prepare the ground before visit of the monarch to eliminate every hint of dissent,” Vyachorka commented on the situation.