Vitsebsk activists summoned to police over “Chernobyl picket”
Yan Dziarzhautsau, member of the Conservative Christian Party BPF, received a summons saying he should appear at Kastrychnitski police department of Vitsebsk on April 30 to provide explanations about the picket he had staged to mark the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, along with another CCP-BPF member Vital Kavalenka, brother of the famous activist Siarhei Kavalenka.
“I called to warn that I was not going to run from the police. But I’m outside Vitsebsk, so in no way I can get to the department by 10 a.m. I requested that the conversation should be moved to another day. However, the policemen did not agree: they told me to come at 12 tomorrow. They said it’s “not for long.” But their “not for long” may be 15 days of arrest, if they decide to charge me and immediately forward the police report to the court. They can put me in temporary detention before trial, too... They asked if I knew Vital Kavalenka’s phone number. He has not yet received the summons, but it seems they want to see him, too,” says Yan Dziarzhautsau.
On April 26, Yan Dziarzhautsau and Vital Kavalenka appeared in the center of Vitsebsk with posters “Only an enemy of Belarus can build a nuclear power plant without the consent of the people” and “Dictator, build Astravets – reap Chernobyl.” After a while, when the activists had rolled the posters, there appeared a police car. However, the police did not see the posters, so they only warned the activists not to display them again.
On the same day, photos of the rally appeared on various Internet sites Yan Dziarzhautsau and Vital Kavalenka fear this can be the main piece of evidence against them later when the police will want to charge them with illegal picketing.