Former prisoner of conscience Dzmitry Paliyenka arrested in criminal case Updated
Former political prisoner and Amnesty International’s prisoner of conscience Dzmitry Paliyenka has been arrested in Minsk this morning on suspicion of committing a crime under Article 339, Part 3 of the Criminal Code (“especially malicious hooliganism”).
“Masked men in bullet-proof vests carrying guns broke into his apartment at about 10 this morning. They simply knocked Dzmitry on the floor and handcuffed him. Then, they broke the door to another room and started searching the apartment. They said that Dzmitry was facing criminal charges for “especially malicious hooliganism,” Paliyenka’s friend Nasta Huseva said.
According to the police, the charge stems from an incident that happened last week, when Paliyenka sprayed pepper spray into the eyes of an aggressive drunk man. The activist was reportedly verbally insulted and hit in the face.
The search lasted about an hour. As a result, the officers took all the equipment (computer, mobile phone), books, leaflets and stickers.
After the search, Dzmitry Paliyenka was taken to the police department, after which he is likely to be taken to the Investigative Committee’s Minsk office.
UPD. The arrest has been confirmed by the Investigative Committee’s press office. Dzmitry Paliyenka will spend up to three days in temporary detention. After that, he can be charged, otherwise he should be released.