8 October: persecution of organizers and participants of the People's Assembly continued all over Belarus
On 8 October,
the day of the action, the authorities continued detaining and intimidating
civil and political activists. People were seized in the streets arbitrary and
arrested on sophisticated reasons.
Belarusian internet-users started had problems with access to charter97.org, belarusianpartisan.org, natnews.org, svaboda.org and other informational web-sites.
On 7 October police detained leaflets with draft resolution of the People's Assembly, too. They were transported by People's Assembly's delegate Vadzim Kabanchuk.
According to the information provided by Radio Liberty, the police detained the activist's car and drove it to the Lenin district department of internal affairs of Minsk. There were 40,000 leaflets in the car, which contained draft resolution of the Assembly. It was planned to hand them out tomorrow.
on 8 October police held preventive detentions of activists of the anarchist movement. At 12.40 a.m. 3 paddy wagons and 10 buses with riot police were parked near the Banhalor square where the assembly was to take place.
Barys Ashchepau and Ihar Trukhanovich were detained before the beginning of the assembly and taken to the Zavadski District Police Department of Minsk.
Nine of the anarchists who took part in the assembly and three more people were detained after its end. All of them were taken to the Savetski District Police Department and released after 4 p.m. without receiving any charges.
Police detained Viktar Kalesnik and Viachaslau Boika, who was delivering electric generator to the meeting. Road police claimed that their car was registered as stolen. Mr. Kalesnik was taken to the road police department, and Boika was taken to criminal police.
Organizer of People’s Assembly Yauhen Parchynski was detained without explanation of reasons. Police officers just said that they want to speak to him. It's worth mentioning that on 7 October he had received an official warning “about the inadmissibility of law violations”.
Political activist Siarhei Kavalenka was detained. Police officers came to his house and said that he must stay “under guard” as opposition action was planned in the city, said his wife Alena Kavalenka.
On 7 October Iryna Yaskevich, chairwoman of the organizing committee for holding the People's Assembly in Vitsebsk, was met by police officers at the door of her apartment. They told her that the assembly was an unauthorized mass event and she was officially warned about the administrative responsibility for its organization.
Iryna tried to explain that the People's Assembly was held on the basis of the Law “On National and Local Assemblies” and didn't fall under provisions of the Law “On Mass Events”, but nobody listened to her. She refused to sign the confirmation that she had received the warning, but didn't manage to appeal against it at the procuracy, as only 20 minutes were left till the end of the working hours.
On 8 October
Iryna and another warned organizer of the People's Assembly, Tatsiana
Seviarynets, barely managed to escape detention after the People's Assembly.
The police kept duty on the action site till late in the evening, whereas the
women had to hide in one of the nearest houses.
Police detained Uladzimir Katsora, Vasil
Paliakou and lawyer Leanid Sudalenka. Their car was stopped by road police and
taken in circle by riot police under command of major Aleinik. Police took
Katsora’s driving license and ordered him to drive to police department of
Homel Tsentralny District Police Department.
Major Aleinik said that they must give explanations concerning leaflets of People’s Assembly distributed in the city.
The police also detained Uladzimir Siakerka, leader of
the Homel branch of the “Fair World” party. They claimed that his car was
registered as stolen. Siakerka was transporting sound-amplifying equipment for
Activist Ihar Simbirau was attacked by people in plain clothes on the railway station. He was beaten and taken to the Asipovichy District Police Department. Police lieutenant colonel told him that he was detained as suspected in transporting illegal things. The activist was going to take part in the People's Assembly in Minsk.
Police detained BPF activist Ivan Sheha. He was driving to Minsk in his car, but he was detained on road and taken to the Karelichy District Police Department. It's worth mentioning that on 7 October the Slonim District Procuracy issued him and Ivan Bedka (chairman of the organizing committee of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party in Slonim) with official warning concerning the organization of the People's Assembly. Ivan Bedka was detained at the People's Assembly as soon as he started his speech. He was taken to the Slonim District Police Department and kept there till 3.15 p.m. A violation report was drawn up on him.
On 7 October activist Siarhei Trafimchyk's car was detained by the road police in Masty. Police officers examined his car and confiscated from him a sheave of “Novy Chas” newspapers and advertisement materials of some other private media. Trafimchyk was also issued with a subpoena to Masty District Police Department for 11 a.m. on 8 October.
Coordinator of People’s Assembly Yury Istomin was detained and taken to local prosecutor’s office under guard.
Organizer of People’s Assembly in Orsha Mikalai Dziamidau, Minai Karniyenka and Leanid Tsviatkou were detained at 12.15 a.m. They were taken to police department and told that police suspects them of having weapons. On 7 October the Orsha District Procuracy issued them with official warnings for organizing the People's Assembly.
UCP vice-chairman Leu Marholin was detained in Barysau and told that he would be examined “for alcohol”.
According to Marholin they had conversation about public activities, after which he was convoyed to his home. Now police car is parked near his house.
The city authorities organized a fair with cheap vodka and dances on the ground where the People's Assembly took place. About 50 people took part in the action, which was vigilantly watched by the chief ideologist Aliaksandr Marachkou, deputy chairman of the police department Siarhei Malisheuski, police major Andrei Malakhau and many people in plain clothes. Participants of the action were shot on video by several cameras, including by a cameraman of the Belarusian TV channel “Lad” and lieutenant-colonel Savitski.
As soon as the assembly organizer Viktar Buzinayeu started reading the petition, he was seized by the police and pulled into a minibus. The “operation” was ordered by Siarhei Malisheuski, who was also dressed in plain clothes.
In about 15 minutes after Buzinayeu's detention the people went to the police department. Savitski followed them all this time, shooting them on video. However, Mr. Buzinayeu was released from the police before their arrival. He wasn't given any charges.
In Vialeika, the authorities organized an improvised concert on the ground where the People's Assembly took place. Members of the pro-regime Belarusian National Youth Union (BRSM) handed out flowers and air balloons there.
Siarhei Antonau, chairman of the Bykhau branch of the Belarusian Popular Front Party, was “invited” to the Bykhau District Police Department on 8 October in the morning, for an “urgent talk”. The police even sent a car for him.
When he arrived to the Bykhau DPD, the police started asking him about the assembly of the Belarusian Popular Front that had taken place a month ago. He told them to read about it in the internet and left the police department. Most probably, the police told him to come in order to make sure that he wasn't going to the People's Assembly in Minsk.
Not more than ten people came to the People's Assembly in Salihorsk. They came to the stadium “Budaunik” in small groups and then went away as they saw no action there. The police stopped them at the entrance of the stadium and put down the personal information of some of them. Some participants were even taken to the police department, for a talk with lieutenant-colonel Kryvaltsevich. Among them there were “Young Front” activist Andrei Tychyna and Aliaksei Valabuyeu, member of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee. The police behaved boldly. They grabbed Tychyna's mobile and blocked the PIN on his SIM-card.
They also searched Aliaksei Valabuyeu, seized his mobile phones and photo camera. Kryvaltsevich started ascribing to Aliaksei the authorship of some web articles, threaten him with trouble at work and accusing him of receiving mythic money for his civil position. In fifteen minutes the guys were released without getting any charges.
In Homel, a provocation was staged by unidentified persons. They threw into postboxes leaflets on behalf of organizers of the People's Assembly, having copied the design of the previous leaflets, and wrote there that the action was canceled. Moreover, according to the text of the leaflet the organizers allegedly confessed that they violated the law by organizing this action and asked the people to forgive them for it.
Moreover, the police detained the assembly organizers. Valery Rapnin was detained for handing out the resolution of the People's Assembly and taken to the Chyhunachny District Police Department of Homel. Larysa Shchyrakova, journalist for the Polish TV channel “BelSat”, was detained and taken away in an unknown direction. Illia Mironau and Iryna Verab'yova were detained as well.
The place of the action was fenced off with iron tourniquets.
Police detained journalist Zmitser Lupach who handed out leaflets about the deteriorating socio-political situation in the country. He was kept at the police department for three hours and then was set free. The police asked the detainee about the origin of the leaflets.
In Brest, the police detained Zinaida Mikhniuk, a member of the organizing committee of the People's Assembly, short before the action. She was taken to the Maskouski District Police Department of Brest. There she was officially charged with “using obscene language in public, “Article 17.1 of the Code of Administrative Offenses”.
After this the woman was driven away by a police car and dropped of on a street, though her husband and members of the independent trade union movement were waiting for her at the entrance of the polic department.