“European Belarus” activist kidnapped and taken out of town

2009 2009-11-30T19:25:11+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Uladzimir Lemesh was caught in the center of Minsk on November 27, forced to get into a car without license plates and taken out of town.

The oppositionist was detained by two militiamen ahead of a street action in honour of an anniversary of the Slutsk Uprising near the editor’s office of “Vyacherni Minsk” in Independence Avenue and ordered to show his ID. He as taken away his passport and mobile phones, forced to get into a blue Volkswagen minibus with blinded windows, the website “European Belarus” reports.

“A man in mufti conducted the detention. I was taken away my backpack and searched. Then they seized a national flag, candles, portraits of the Slutsk Uprising leaders, SIM-cards, and a memory card. They handcuffed me and pulled my cap over my eye so that I couldn’t see anything. I was forced to have my head between my knees all the way. The way was long. I reminded about the recent murder of BPF activist Valyantsin Dounar in Maryina Horka and I felt strange.

When the car stopped and I got out, handcuffs were removed and I could take off the cap, the man in mufti said: “We warned you, but you didn’t make right conclusions. Think about your future. Your wife and children will be happy to have not a revolutionary father, but one who earns enough...”

I told them good bye. I noticed the car didn’t have license plates. I was left on a rural road without mobile phones. I walked 500 meters and reached Minsk–Slutsk highway, 25 kilometres form Minsk. I went home hitch-hiking,” Uladzimir Lemesh said.

A human rights activist from “European Belarus” was the first to meet with Uladzimir Lemesh. She said: “The first thing I noticed was trances of handcuffs on his wrists. The activist didn’t look frightened or depressed, but his long absence and inability to contact with him made his friends worry.

We can’t speak about liberalization. Methods of influence on opposition youth are changing – the so called law enforcement bodies do not detain people officially, but more and more often resort to extrajudicial methods: kidnapping, beating, tortures, intimidation. But struggle with dictatorship goes on.”