Liozna: provocations at pickets
Officers of the Liozna District Executive Committee paid a visit to the electoral pickets of Ryhor Kostuseu and Ales Mikhalevich. There were also some unidentified persons who tried to tear leaflets with the biographies of the candidates out of the hands of the members of their electoral teams who held the pickets.
The pickets in Liozna were held by activists from Vitsebsk. One of them, Khrystafor Zhaliapau, said: ‘We were evidently expected. The market near which we held the picket stopped working too early – there were almost no vendors in the afternoon. We hardly put the picket when we were ringed by policemen who were asking one another on the walkie-talkies, what for a BPF picket was there.’
Soon the activist decided to move their picket away from the market, closer to the restoration Ivushka. Officers of the Liozna District Executive Committee started coming up to them. The chairperson of the district council of deputies showed up as well. While the picketers were talking with the chief ideologist of the Liozna district, an unknown woman started clinging to them.
’She was literally tearing the leaflet with the biography of Ales Mikhalevich out of my hands. We told her we didn’t give out any materials, and could give it to her only for reading. However, she kept coming again and again, asking to give her a poster, then at least a small calendar, saying she would bring it home as a souvenir. It was an evident provocation: we would be accused of early agitation had we given anything to her,’ commented another participant of the picket, Tamara Karyzna.
Another officer of the executive committee signed in support of Mr. Mikhalevich, and then asked whether she could enter a signature for hear husband, without even presenting his passport, but received a refusal. The behavior of the officials made an unpleasant impression on the collectors of signatures: the people who work at the executive committee could hardly be so naïve and illiterate as to unconsciously push them to violations of the electoral legislation, which means that most probably the provocations were made consciously, state the Vitsebsk activists.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections