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Viktar Ivashkevich to Be Tried for European March Leaflets

2007 2007-09-26T14:42:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

Today Pershamaiski court of Minsk will try Viktar Ivashkevich. Ivashkevich is chair of the organizing committee of the European March rally which will take place on October 14th. The BPF deputy chairman is charged with calling to participate in an unauthorized action. Ivashkevich was detained yesterday, near El-Pomidorro cafe in Minsk, together with Valery Ukhnaliou. Ukhnaliou is the chair of the organizing committee of the Social March rally. Together with 4 colleagues they celebrated Viktar Ivashkevich’s birthday. Officers of the special police forces waited for them at the doors of the cafe.

When the group of 6 people went outside, they were approached by the police officers who asked to show their IDs.

One of the witnesses Valiantsina Sviatskaya says: “To our question “why”, they responded they need to identify our personalities. When we showed our documents, Ivashkevich and Ukhnaliou were told to get on the police bus that stood in a couple of meters from the doors of the cafe. Viktar Ivashkevich got on the bus together with his bag and a birthday present”.

Chairman of the organizing committee of the European March Viktar Ivashkevich and Chairman of the organizing committee of the Social March Valery Ukhnaliou were taken to Pershamaiski police department, and then – to detoxification center. The center medical staff made the decision they didn’t need their services and need to be released. However, the police released only Valery Ukhnaliou. He told RFE/RL:

“They brought us to the detoxification center and began to shoot us on video. They told us: “let us make a medical examination, take off you clothes”. But we refused because they were making a video, and could later show it on TV, etc. They made a video of how they found dollars in my pocket and put it on the table – three notes worth 1 dollar, and a 5-dollar note. I think that was their main goal”.

The police found several leaflets with the symbols of the European March in the belongings of Viktar Ivashkevich. That became the ground for drawing up a report for distribution of leaflets with the call to participate in an unauthorized mass action.

Now Viktar Ivashkevich is kept in Pershamaiski police department of Minsk.

Today Pershamaiski court of Minsk will consider this charge. Viktar's colleagues do not exclude the situation that the authorities would keep him in jail until the rally on October 14th. There might be another report against him that would be drawn later. As it has happened recently when people were taken from jail back to court and received another term of arrest on the ground of the police report that the convict had allegedly stumbled over something in the jail corridor and swore in bad language.

Vincuk Viachorka, leader of BPF Party, told RFE/RL:

“The accusations are absurd. The people were sitting in a cafe and celebrating Viktar Ivashkevich’s birthday. They didn’t have bad behavior or manners. The police detained them the moment they went outside. The detention was conducted by the whole bus of special police forces. I think this is an ordinary scheme of usual political arrests”.

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