Zhlobin observer accused of safe burglary
Aleh Kastusiou, short-term observer representing the Fair World party, was forced to leave Zhlobin-based polling station No. 14, after he was accused of burgling a safe with early vote ballot papers.
“In the morning, when the polling station was opened and first voters came, I told Hanna Zhyrko, head of the election commission, that the boxes with early voting ballots should be put in a visible place. She ordered the boxes to be brought in, but I decided to report the violation in a written complaint, as Article 53 of the Electoral Code was violated. Mrs. Zhyrko then started shouting and told me that I might receive a warning,” says the observer.
An hour later, the head of the election commission showed Mr. Kastusiou a paper saying that he should leave the premises “for repeated violations, including interference with the activities of the election commission members and other observers.”
“I was also accused of stealing into the room where early vote ballots were being stored and burgling the safe! When I urged Mrs. Zhyrko to show me the official paper, she refused to do so,” says Aleh Kastusiou.
“Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”