Vitsebsk: Three Young Girls Detained for Election without Choice! Banner

2007 2007-01-15T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

At 7 a.m. Vitsebsk police noticed three girls tying the banner to lamp-posts in Vitsebsk Millennium Square and detained them. Several hours later 18-ear-old Iuliia Matusevich was taken to Vitsebsk Chyhunachny borough court and received a warning for violation of article 167 part 1 of the Administrative Code (violation of the order of organization and holding mass actions, assemblies, meetings, demonstrations and pickets).

Two other detainees, under-aged Alena Bahdanava and Hanna Chepeleva, were told they would be summonsed to the police together with their parents later.

Hanna Chepeleva gave the following information to RFE/RL: ‘They seized us and drew a violation report on each of us. During all the time the police insulted us with foul words and humiliated. They demanded confessions from us. We think that by our actions we didn’t disturb public order. There is a peculiar situation with these elections in Vitsebsk: only one candidate per election constituency, the election is non-alternative. That’s why there was the slogan Election without Choice! on the banner.’

Non-alternative election is a reality for Vitsebsk. Only 7 election constituencies out of 40 formed for election to Vitsebsk city deputy soviet have two candidates, and only 11 of 60 election constituencies for Vitsebsk regional deputy soviet have two or three candidates.