Edge of absurd: police detain participants of pillow fight. Andrei Kim fined as organizer

2010 2010-07-16T16:42:10+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en https://spring96.org/files/images/sources/padushki.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The symbolic pillow fight on 15 J8uly in Minsk on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald ended with mass arrests.

As the charter97.org website learnt from witnesses, three buses with the riot policemen stood near the National Library at 6 pm, whereas the action was to take place an hour later. A large number of plainclothes policemen and riot policemen stood near the library.

Dozens of people were detained. Riot policemen detained everyone approaching the library with a pillow and guarded to them to a bus. Many passers-by had their bags searched. The police also checked the documents of the journalists present at the place of the action.

The police continued arrests at the metro station. Journalists saw policemen guarding about ten people with pillows from metro to a police bus.

Three busses were not enough for all detainees. Riot policemen lead a part of people to the water reservoir in the Uruccha suburb and ordered them to go home. Some others were taken to the police department. One of the buses later returned to the library.

Parents of the teens began to gather near the library demanding to release their children. They were speaking with their children through the bus windows. Riot policemen stayed near the library for some hours. In total, 70 persons were detained.

'I didn’t expect this. This is idiocity. Until now, the people who do this could be compared with ordinary patients of a mental hospital, but now they are like padded cell patients,' Andrei Kim, one of the organizers, commented on the situation.

Andrei Kim was detained too. He was the only person who was kept at the Pershamaiski district police department of Minsk overnight, whereas all other detainees were released soon after the detention.

On 16 July, Mr. Kim was tried by the Pershamaiski District Court of Minsk for organization of the event (Article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offences) and was fined 17,500 rubles (a minimal fine, about $6).

Bear in mind that earlier the Minsk city executive committee had banned the registered organization Historyka to holding the street action on the occasion of the 600thaniversary of the Battle of Grunwald.

Human rights defenders and Kim's friends phoned to the court many times to find about the time and place of the trial. However, the court officers kept saying they knew nothing about it.

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