KGB refuses to return confiscated things to Alexander Atroshchankau

2009 2009-10-09T18:40:55+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Two years have passed today since the property of European Belarus activist Alexander Atroshchankau was illegally confiscated. The democratic activist tries to return his property, but all in vain, the website European Belarus reports.

On 9 October 2007, ahead of the European March rally, the police and people in mufti burst into Atroshchankau’s apartment on the ground floor through a window (!), searched it and arrested the activist.

The police officers said they had got an anonymous telephone call saying there was a dead body in the apartment. However, during the search they were interested only in the computers.

The office equipment, including a laptop, a computer case, information materials about the European March, EU and Belarusian flags, and Belarusian court-of-arms Pahonia, were confiscated. Atroshchankau didn’t get any document confirming the confiscation and enumerating the confiscated items. The police turned the room upside down during the three-hour search. Sofa upholstery was cut, gas stove was broken. Alexander’s wife wasn’t let in the apartment and was forbidden to pass warm clothes to him.

Next day after the search, the activist was sentenced to 10 days of arrest. Policemen Kurylchuk and Sushchenia who had unlawfully penetrated into the apartment, testified the detainee had allegedly used obscene language.

Alexader Atroshchankau managed to find out for two years that his things had been seized because they could ‘contain a call to overthrow the power’ and are kept in the KGB department of Minsk and Minsk oblast. Have the KGB been thinking for the second year how EU flag, Pahonia court-of-arms and an empty backpack can call to overthrow the power?

Atroshchankau submitted complaints to Tsentralny district police department, the prosecutor’s office of Tsentralny district and the prosecutor’s office of Minsk, but haven’t received an answer on what norms of the law his property had been confiscated and why it wasn’t returned.

After Atroshchankau’s complaint to the KGB department of Minsk and Minsk oblast in June 2008, he received a telephone call from the KGB inviting him to go and take his things, but when he came, he was arrested for 15 days for ‘contempt of court’. He hasn’t received an answer to this complaint so far. His last complaint he made to the prosecutor’s office late spring, hasn’t been answered too.

Daryia Korsak, Alexander Atroshchankau’s wife, was given a warning for her complaint against the unlawful actions of the police:

‘Such unfounded accusations against the police officers are not only outrageous, but also illegal. In this regard, Tsentralny district police department gives you an official warning of responsibility under article 9.2 of the Code of Administrative Offences of Belarus,’ the head of  Tsentralny district police department V.Siniakou wrote in response to the complaint.

‘In fact, I have met an organized criminal group: the police burst unlawfully into my apartment, damaged the property, stole my things and gave them to the KGB. The court threw me into a prison on absurd accusations, relying on evidence of the robbers, and the prosecutor’s office said this agreed with the law, but couldn’t tell with which law. Calling the things by their proper names, it is an ordinary robbery, the fact that the robbers are officers of the law-enforcement bodies doesn’t change the essence,’ Alexander Atroshchankau said.