Minsk: those who assaulted canvasseur don't live in that constituency

2012 2012-08-13T16:26:37+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/napad-zbor-milinkevich.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 11 August three men assaulted Aliaksandr Marchanka, a member of the electoral team of the leader of the Movement “For Freedom” Aliaksandr Milinkevich. That day Marchanka collected signatures in the underground pedestrian crossing on the metro station “Uruchcha”.

According to the head of the electoral team, Yury Meliashkevich, one of the youngsters wanted to sign in support of Milinkevich and another one advised him against it. They asked Marchanka for Milinkevich's biography, which was written in the Belarusian language. The youngsters had problems with reading it. However, Marchanka's proposal to read it aloud made them angry and they started tearing signature sheets out of his hands.

During the fight they slashed his head. He lost much blood – the signature sheets were spilled with it. An ambulance took him to clinical hospital #3 where stitches were put. When Meliashkevich came to Uruchcha, the informational stand of the candidate lied in the middle of the pedestrian crossing. “They must have been smashing it with their feet, as even the metallic earlets by which the surface was affixed to the frame were broken. The metallic frame of the stand is bowed, too.”

Two of the assailants were detained almost immediately near the metro station. The third one was caught soon afterwords. According to information of the Movement “For Freedom”, they live on Hikala, Arlouskaya and Pliakhanau streets which don't belong to Milinkevich's constituency. At present Yury Meliashkevich cannot say for sure whether the assault was a provocation from the side of the authorities. According to Marchanka, they were inebriated.

Photo by Yury Meliashkevich

“Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”