Youth leaders Dashkevich and Afnahel kidnapped by unidentified persons

2009 2009-12-07T15:05:10+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Zmitser Dashkevich

Zmitser Dashkevich

Zmitser Dashkevich, Young Front leader, was seized by unknown persons in mufti when he was opening the doors of his apartment.

On 5 December Dashkevich was to have taken part in the presentation of New Generation coalition uniting Young Front and a number of other youth organizations.

For a few hours friends were searching for Zmitser Dashkevich at police stations. His mobile phone was off. In 5.5 hours Dashkevich called from a phone of another person and said that he was in a village of Antonauka, Lahoisk district.

He asked his friends to come to his apartment first, as it had been open for more than 5 hours by that time. As a result it turned out that Dashkevich’s laptop was not there.

The Young Front leader told RFE/RL that the unknown pulled two caps on his head and first transported him in a minibus, and then placed him to a different one.

For the first two hours the unknown were talking. ‘They discussed things like ‘please don’t visit my girl, Maryna’. They pretended they were not policemen, but I heard their walkie-talkies working,’ Dashkevich said.

In the forest the unknown got the oppositionist out of the car. When the car stopped, one of the men said: ‘I’m going to dig a hole’. To immobilize the young activist, a wooden pole was put through the sleeves of his jacket. Then he was ordered to stand and count up to a hundred. They disappeared. Dashkevich had to find his way out of the forest. When he reached the road, he found a village of Antonauka 70 kilometres away from Minsk.

In the evening of 6 December Yauhen Afnahel, one of the leaders of the civil campaign European Belarus, was kidnapped as well.

As Afnahel told, he had been caught by four men in mufti in Bialinski Street in Minsk. Afnahel was forced to get into a white car with tinted windows and taken out of town. According to the activist, the kidnapers didn’t talk anything. He was forced to sit with his head between his knees and was let me out on a country road some kilometers from Barysau highway, the website European Belarus reports.

‘I had an arrangement near Luch watch plant at 4 p.m. The man I was to meet with was late. Two people in mufti came up to me, showed their police certificates and asked me to show what I had in my bag. They didn’t find anything interesting for them and went away. Then a policeman in uniform with a radio set appeared. I took a bus to Bialinski Street. They caught me on a bus stop when I was leaving it and forced me into a white car. There three men besides me in the car. We were driving around the town for 20 minutes. They made me bend my head in order I couldn’t look through the window. Then we got out of town, turned off the highway and drove about a kilometer. I was allowed to get out, they returned me a camera, but without a battery, telephones, one of them without a battery,’ Yauhen Afnahel told.

By the way, recently attacks on young opposition leaders have become quite frequent in Belarus already.

On 27 November the activist of European Belarus civil campaign Uladzimir Lemesh was seized by unknown persons in central Minsk and taken out of the city in an unidentified car.

The oppositionist was detained by two policemen ahead of a street action in honor of an anniversary of the Slutsk Uprising near the editor’s office of Viacherni Minsk in Nezalezhnastsi 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 activist was taken outside the city, and after that released, but warned against continuing his political activities.

On 27 November Artur Finkevich was seized in Ubarevich Street by KGB officers and police. ‘I left the house, and KGB officers flew at me from every side. I started to run away, I ran for 500 metres. I was knocked down, placed into a minibus and handcuffed. One of them was a policeman, and the three others were KGB men,’ Finkevich said.

Last year on 19 December he was also seized near his house in Makayonak Street. The young man was pulled his jacket on the head, dragged into a car and beaten up all the way. Then Finkevich’s mobile phone was seized. He was thrown out of the car not far from Valozhyn, Minsk oblast. Police initiated a criminal case on this fact, but criminals haven’t been found.

The Young Front activists Nasta Palazhanka and Dzianis Karnou were abducted on 25 March 2009, before the rally on Freedom Day. They were taken out of Minsk and left in a forest near the road by unidentified policemen. Nasta Palazhanka was let out of the car near the village of Tarasava, Karnou was taken to a place near Dziarzhynsk. Dzianis Karnou was beaten up, his jeans were cut, and his money was seized.