Pinsk: detention of opposition candidate
Ales Ramanovich, Chairperson of the Pinsk town council of the Belarusian Popular Front, was detained for 90 minutes by the policemen who paid interest to his participation in the local elections.
The Homel oblast organization of the Belarusian Popular Front nominated Ales Ramanovich a candidate to the Pinsk town Soviet of Deputies. He was detained in the evening on 5 March, after receiving protocol of the sitting of the party organization concerning his nomination. At the same sitting the party nominated two persons to the precinct commissions located at the constituency where Ales Ramanovich is going to run.
Soon after Mr. Ramanovich went away from the route taxi by which the protocols were passed, he was approached by two policemen, who explained that four thefts had been committed in the town lately, and he looked suspiciously. The activist didn’t have the passport with him, that’s why policemen Karpovich and Mirashnichenka decided to guard him to the police station for ‘identification’. During the search they found the protocols and wanted to take them away, but Ales said that he would let them to have a look on them only holding the documents in his own hands. After this the policemen took him to the Pinsk town police department.
In the police car the activist tried to phone to Dzmitry Shymanski, Chairperson of the Homel oblast BPF organization, but the policemen leaned their weight upon him and forcedly took the mobile phone away. After a 30-minute wait police major S.Bratchyk invited the detainee to his office for ‘identification’, and also asked to give him the protocols for reading. The activist explained that he intended to pass these documents to the Pinsk executive committee the following day and there wasn’t anything secret in them. The policeman put down Ramanovich’s explanations about the protocols on a separate sheet of paper. Then he ordered one of the policemen to return him the mobile phone. At about 10.10 p.m. Mr. Shymanski was let go.
Ales Ramanovich thinks the detention is connected with his intention to run at the elections and intends to appeal against the unlawful detention.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections