Persecution of organizers of the People's Assembly continues all over Belarus
authorities continue pressurizing members of the organizing committee of the
national People's Assembly which will take part in towns and cities of Belarus on 8
On 6 October in the evening a police inspector paid a visit to the apartment of Dzianis Sadouski, responsible secretary of the organizing committee of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party. He asked Dzianis's parents about the whereabouts of their son, as he wanted to pass him a summons to the procuracy. Most probably, the procuracy wants to warn the activist against taking part in the People's Assembly.
On 6 October an organizers of the People's Assembly in the town of Dzisna was called to the ideology chairman of the Miyory District Executive Committee. However, she refused to go there and talk to the officials, though they even sent a car for her.
Moreover, several days ago the local police inspector paid visits to the people who had signed in support of the People's Assembly and recommended them not to take part in it.
On 6 October Kastus Zhukouski was released from jail after serving a 15-day arrest term. He kept a hunger-strike during the whole time of the arrest and returned home with a broken leg as a result of police violence.
Nevertheless, Zhukouski, who is an organizer of the People's Assembly, received a summons to the Savetski District Procuracy of Homel for 7 October, as well as two more organizers, Uladzimir Katsora and Vasil Paliakou. All of them were issued with official warnings about the inadmissibility of law violations.
The Homel authorities also decided to hold a fair on the ground where the People’s Assembly will take place. They also prepared a surprise for pupils and students: they can visit the Rymiantsau and Pashkevichy palace, Vashchanka’s picture gallery, the history museum, two cinemas and the skating rink on Rechytskaya highway free of charge. The only requirement is to show their student IDs.
It’s worth noting that the administrations of educational establishments also warned students about the possibility of repressions if they took part in the People’s Assembly.
On 6 October Anzhela Kambalava, a member of the organizing committee of the People's Assembly, was summonsed to the city police department. An unknown man who introduced himself as a police officer phoned her and told that she had been seen near the check-up point of the “Handalmash” plant, possibly with leaflets in her hands, that's why she needed to come to the police to give appropriate explanations.
However, the activist refused to come to the police without getting official summons first.
On 7 October it became known that the Baranavichy police were looking for Viktar Meziak, chairman of the organizing committee of the People's Assembly in Baranavichy. Two police officers paid a visit to Viktar's house in the morning and asked his relatives about his whereabouts.
By the way, on 30 Setember Viktar Meziak had been detained by the police while posting leaflets with invitation to the People's Assembly in the Uskhodni suburb. He was given charges under Article 23.34, “violation of the order of organizing and holding mass events”.
Uladzimir Shantsau, Chair of the Mahiliou region organization of the United Civil Party, received a written warning from the Leninski District Procuracy of Mahiliou.
The procuracy warned the politician about “the inadmissibility of preparation of actions violating the norms of the Belarusian Law “On Mass Events”. The document, signed by prosecutor Snitkou, warns the activist about the possibility of administrative punishment for such actions.
As it follows from the warning, the procuracy considers the People's Assembly as a mass event, which requires a preliminary agreement of the local authorities. In fact, people's assemblies don't fall under provisions of the Law “On Mass Events” and are regulated by the Law “On National and Local Assemblies”.
Mr. Shantsau considers the warning as an attempt to disrupt the action. He has already filed an appeal against the warning.
Mazyr District Procuracy warned human rights defender Uladzimir Tseliapun about responsibility for the organization of or participation in the People's Assembly, though he just asked to authorize a picket. In the morning he was visited by a delegation headed by Tatsiana Hancharenka, ideology head of the Mazyr District Executive Committee, who familiarized the human rights defender with the refusal to authorize the picket he intended to hold on 8 October at the “Spartacus” stadium.
After this, Mr. Tseliapun had to go to the Mazyr District Procuracy. At the same time, some police officers kept looking for him.
By the way, it is the fourth refusal to authorize an action that has been received by Uladzimir Tseliapun lately.
On 6 October in the evening members of the organizing committee of the National Assembly started receiving telephone calls. Some of them were asked to come to the police, some others – to the city executive committee. All of them were told that it was “very important”.
Kanstantsin Loktseu, a member of the organizing committee, agreed to meet with a police officer. The latter introduced himself as lieutenant-colonel Trubachkin. He came to the office of the United Civil Party on his duty car, but didn't show his ID. Instead, he just handed to the activist a Xerox copy of an “Official warning about the inadmissibility of violations of law”, signed by the district prosecutor Haurykau.
“I didn't sign anything, I just took the paper,” says Kanstantsin Loktseu. “I consider it as another attempt to make us refuse from holding the People's Assembly.”
According to Viktar Buzinayeu, a coordinator of the committee, two people had to leave the committee because of the pressurization. “I think that this pressurization will increase today, on the last day before the assembly,” says Buzinayeu.
On 7 October Artur Eshbayeu, an organizer of the People's Assembly in Smaliavichy, was sentenced to 7 days of arrest by the Smaliavichy District Court. His wife Aliaksandra Eshbayeva, Mikhail Khviadchenia, Yauhen Sableu, A. Martysiuk and some others were taken to the Smaliavichy District Police Department for coming to the court to support Artur at the trial.
Today democratic activist Uladzimir Kuntsevich, who works at the position of industrial engineer at the “Palimir” plant, has been unexpectedly told that he would have a working Sunday on 8 October. The official reason is “industrial necessity”.
The activist is sure the real reason is the holding of the People's Assembly on 8 October. “I am not an organizer of the assembly in Navapolatsk, but the administration decided to prevent even the possibility of my participation in it,” commented Kuntsevich.
The school authorities of Polatsk increased the number of classes on Saturday, 8 October. So, the children will have to stay at schools till 2 p.m.
The Orsha City Procuracy issued official warnings to two members of the organizing committee of the People's Assembly, Minai Karniyenka and Mikalai Dziamidau, the both of whom are also representatives of the Orsha organization of the Belarusian Leftist Party "Fair World".