Mahiliou police stop car and seize opposition newspapers
Ihar Barysau, a member of the presidium of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party “Hramada”, says police officers stopped his car and took numerous copies of newspapers. The party member faces a trial and a fine of up to 7.5 mln rubles. The publications were sent for examination, Radio Liberty’s Belarus service said.
Last night Ihar Barysau’s private car, in which he transported the newspapers, was stopped by traffic police in a village near Mahiliou. The driver was told that car was allegedly involved in hooliganism in Bialynichy. The vehicle was escorted to the Leninski police department of Mahiliou, where Ihar Barysau was questioned and the newspapers were seized.
According to Ihar Barysau, the police men took the party’s newsletter “Social Democrat” devoted to the campaign “Popular Referendum”, as well as copies of the newspaper “Our Mahiliou”. The activist is not sure how many newspapers were seized by the police.
The activist says this is linked to the upcoming presidential election. According to him, the police have strengthened control over the activities of opposition activists.
“If attention to activists between presidential campaigns was relatively low, they now began to follow us closely. I do not rule out wiretapping,” says he.