KGB interested in oppositionists' computers

2010 2010-04-09T19:13:39+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 9 April, Andrei Sannikau, the European Belarus leader, received back his laptop, unlawfully seized on the border.

The Anti-Smuggling Department of the Ashmyany Customs informed Mr. Sannikau that he has to pay 35 euro for holding his seized computers. No reports on examination were showed to the politician. He also didn’t receive oral or written explanations on how the examination had been conducted. Sannikau was also returned a camera memory card.

'It took them more than a month to examine a computer. I was said they had sent me a notice on extension of the term of examination, but I didn’t receive anything. I wrote a request to the customs chief officer where I mentioned the facts of unlawfulness: a three-hour search on the border, seizure of a laptop without any explanations, returning it without informing about the examination results. I wrote I regard these facts as political pressure,' Andrei Sannikau told the website

The only thing that the European Belarus leader managed to learn from customs officer is that the laptop had been examined by the KGB bureau of Minsk and the Minsk region.

The politician cannot say anything about the state of the computer after the 'examination'. 'I inspected it visually, it works, but I don’t know its state now', Sannikau said.

'Lukashenka has created a system of unlawfulness in the country. It influences the life of all citizens, not only the opposition. One can give any orders on phone and take any actions not caring about observing the law, even Lukashenka’s law. The law will return again only after Lukashenka resigns, people have to understand this,' the opposition leader said.

Bear in mind that Andrei Sannikau, his wife famous journalist Iryna Khalip and their two-year old son were detained at the check point Kamenny Loh on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border on 5 March. They weren’t allowed to go out of the car for three hours. Then a laptop and a camera memory card were seized.

On 16 March, the apartment of Andrei Sannikau and Iryna Khalip was searched. Another computer and information storage devices were seized. This equipment hasn’t been returned.