Krishnaites detained in Viciebsk
Several followers of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness ended up in the police department for spreading religious literature in Viciebsk. Siarhei Fadzeyenkau, chief specialist of the Department for Religious and Ethnic Affairs of the Viciebsk Regional Executive Committee, was directly involved in the detention of believers.
According to one of the detainees, Aliaksandr Hrankin, he “introduced people in Viciebsk to the Vedic knowledge about nutrition, healthy lifestyles, self-development and the philosophy of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Those citizens who showed a keen interest in these topics received books and brochures. Chief specialist of the Department for Religious and Ethnic Affairs of the Viciebsk Regional Executive Committee Fadzeyenkau, showing no interest in the mentioned topics, against my will took four books, two of which were then returned. My repeated requests to return the rest of the books were ignored.”
A dozen books were taken from another believer, Pavel Ivanou:
“Fadzeyenkau, together with an unknown man who did not introduce himself, without giving reasons, using physical force took me to a deserted place where they took the books. Then he fraudulently lured me into the building of the Committee of State Control, where I was held against my will.”
Another victim, Aliaksei Ulasiuk says he was also subjected to physical force. He was also held in the building of the State Control Committee, where he was, according to him, dragged violently and then prevented from leaving the building.
The police officers who arrived on the scene took the Hare Krishna followers to the police station of Kastryčnicki district. The Krishnaites say they were kept there for almost five hours and eventually released without charges.
The detainees believe by his illegal actions chief specialist of the Department for Religious Affairs Fadzyenkau prevented the realization of their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of thought, conscience and religion, wrongfully seized property that belonged to them, and deprived them of their freedom. They say they will complain to the Prosecutor’s Office and the Viciebsk Regional Executive Committee.