Vitsebsk: Siarhei Kavalenka released from pre-trial prison
Yesterday evening Siarhei Kavalenka, activist of the Conservative Christian Party Belarusian Popular Front arrested for hanging out a white-red-white flag on the main New Year Tree in Vitsebsk, was released from the pre-trial prison. He says that it was a surprise to him, as last Saturday the prosecutor’s office issued a ruling on keeping him in custody for two months.
‘I was on duty today and all my cellmates helped me clean the cell. Then the guards came and at 5.10 p.m. I was released. I think that it is a result of a wide public response,’ said Siarhei Kavalenka. He got home on foot and at 7.30 p.m. gave an interview to RFE/RL.
Bear in mind that on 7 December Mr. Kavalenka hanged out a white-red-white flag on the main New Year Tree of Vitsebsk (about 40 meters long), before the eyes of hundreds of Vitsebsk residents. He says that he is not afraid of the upcoming trial for hooliganism, though he can be sentenced to up to 5 years of personal restraint or 6 years of jail for it.
Mr. Kavalenka said that at the police station he was treated malevolently and severely, while his cellmates treated him with understanding and respect. That’s why Siarhei and his mother Lidziya decided to pass to the cell the food parcel which his relatives wanted to pass to him.
Siarhei’s mother, his wife Alena and brother Vital are sure that Siarhei was released from jail only thanks to all the people who expressed sympathy and respect for him.