KGB Continues Pressure on Belarusian Youth

2007 2007-01-17T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On January 16 Vasil Lepesh got a call from a person who introduced himself as a representative of Minsk and Minsk region KGB department. He did not mention his name. The stranger invited Vasil to meet and talk in the center of the city. The KGB agent refused to tell the guy what would be the topic of their conversation. Vasil Lepesh replied, he would consult with the lawyer and think about the proposition. The KGB representative said, if Vasil decides not to come, he would be officially summoned to KGB.

Vasil Lepesh says that he felt attention of the security structures earlier, when he was a student of the Teacher’s Training University: “Then, a year ago, the dean of my faculty regularly invited me for “conversations”, I had to write explanation notes because of my participation in various protest actions and because of Tankisty newspaper published by students of our university. During the presidential election of 2006 I was detained and arrested for 3 days.

I think the current phone call is most probably connected with my last detention on December 22. Then the police dispersed a Christmas party organized by Ales Mikhalevich, deputy chairperson of BPF Party. The police detained all the people present and took them to Savetski police department. Then Ales Mikhalevich and I were sentenced to 5 days of arrest for “disorderly conduct”, -- Vasil Lepesh explained to Viasna.

Yauhen Ivaniuk, student of Belarusian national Technical University (marketing, management and business faculty) told Viasna he had been interrogated by a KGB agent. Several days before the presidential election, the deputy dean of his faculty had a conversation with him. Yauhen was asked to write an explanation why he was a member of Alexander Milinkevich’s initiative group. At the same time several representatives of the university’s security service examined Yauhen’s room in the university dormitory. They looked through his personal things, seized a CD with the candidate’s speech and examined the files in his computer. On March 18 the administration of the dormitory asked Yauhen to leave the room. Later Yauhen was invited to the rector’s office. There he met a representative of the KGB who introduced himself as “Siarhei”. The KGB agent showed him a student newspaper and claimed that Yauhen had distributed it in the dormitory among the students. He also claimed Yauhen had produced stickers in support of the democratic candidate, because he had a laser printer in his room. The KGB agent “Siarhei” refused to show his KGB license. Instead, he suggested that Yauhen cooperates with them and offered help with Yauhen’s studies.

“In March I spent 10 days in jail for participation in the tent city on October Square. Then the university administration paid very much attention to me. They invited me to the dean’s office, etc. That lasted for almost a month. Then my mother died and they left me in peace. And now, when I was detained on December 22 for participation in a private Christmas party, I met the same KGB agent Siarhei in the police department. He talked to me for a long time, saying: “I am so upset, Yauhen, you let me down…”

In the evening of January 12 the dean invited me to his office again. He asked me to write an explanation about my detention on December 22. While I was writing he got a phone call and replied: “he is already here”. The dean also told me how I had been dressed during the party. Then I left the dean’s office. I didn’t go far when I got a phone call from the dean who asked me to come back. I saw suspicious people in tracksuit standing near the university entrance. I decided not to return to the dean’s office. I think the KGB agent waited for me there, and I didn’t want to talk to him. I didn’t go to the dormitory. Instead, I stayed at my friends’ Later I was told that some strange people visited the dormitory that evening and asked different questions about me”, -- Yauhen Ivaniuk told Viasna.