Detentions for pillow fight
The attempt to hold a pillow fight that hadn’t been permitted by the Minsk authorities ended with mass detentions. The action was dated to the 496th anniversary of the Battle of Orsha, which is celebrated by the Belarusian Military Glory Day by the opposition circles.
The format of the action had to be changed as a result. The potential participants of the fight were personally informed about the place of gathering on the web for the sake of conspiracy.
Youth activists gathered near the Minsk State Philharmonic in Yakub Kolas Square in the evening. The weapons of the upcoming fight (pillows) were handed out there. The police started detaining the people. The main part of detainees was under age.
At first 16 persons were guarded to a police station of the Minsk metro and then – to the Savetski District Police Department (DPD) where they were kept for more than the legally allowed 3 hours. The policemen put down their passport data, photographed, videoed and fingerprinted the detainees.
Following the dispersal of the action at the ground near the philharmonic, the people who wanted to take part in the pillow fight proceeded to Gorky Park, where about 70-80 of them fought. Then they proceeded to Niamiha Street, where another fight took place with participation of some 30-40 people.
Some participants of these fights were detained as well. As a result, 13 more people were guarded to the Tsentralny DPD and 21 – to the Partyzanski DPD and were photographed, videoed and fingerprinted as well.
All detainees were released without receiving any official charges. According to the human rights defender Nasta Loika who came to the Savetski District Police Department, some minors were passed to their parents and some were released without this procedure, which is a formal law violation. Moreover, the police cannot take fingerprints and make photos and videos of under-age persons without the permission of their parents. Many detainees are going to appeal against the violations that were made during their detention. In addition, the actual time of detention was more than 3 hours as the police counted it not from the moment of the detention, but from the moment when they were taken to the DPD.