Vitsebsk: Barys Khamaida detained again

2013 2013-10-07T23:32:56+0300 2013-10-07T23:32:56+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Vitsebsk activist, distributor of independent press Barys Khamaida was taken to the Chyhunachny District Police Department of Vitsebsk, allegedly for unauthorized picketing. However, he was released without getting any charges.

Barys Khamaida says he distributed the independent press in the center of Vitsebsk as usual, and there were no signs of unauthorized picketing in his actions:

"As always, I stood under a white-red-white umbrella. The newspapers and magazines laid. There was an embroidery – the words of the prayer “Our Father” made with red threads on a white cloth – a gift from Antanina Pivanos. Everything was as usual, and I wasn't explained what seemed illegal to the policemen. At the poilce station my personal information was put down, but no charges were brought. The police captain who had deatained me earlier came out and said that I was free and could go.”

Barys Khamaida remembered that he had been detained last in September 2012, when he agitated for the election boycott, holding a poster. He was fined 2 million rubles for unauthorized picketing at that time.

However, since that time there were cases in Vitsebsk when the detainees received charges with a delay, and were summonsed to the police and to the court after some time.

For Mr. Khamaida the trials for the pickets are not a novelty: he has been repeatedly detained near the so-called “blue house” in Lenin Street, where he distributes independent press. He was also punished with fines for going out to the street with posters, or just for drawing the attention of passers-by as a distributor of independent press. Mr. Khamaida considers himself innocent. He is sure that restrictions of the right to express one's views, receive and impart information violate the rights of Belarusian citizens.