Presentation of report on 19 December post-election protest disrupted: police burst at Viasna's office and detain 6 foreign nationals
Many people wanted to hear the evaluation of the
events of 19 December 2010
An appropriate presentation was to have taken place at 7 p.m. in the Minsk office of the Human
Rights Center Viasna. However, 20 minutes before it, the office was
ringed by the police.
Policemen insistently tried to get into the apartment, referring to some “operative operation” about explosives. Having entered the office, they prohibited the present people to move, took away the passports of some of them and detained the Russian citizens Irina Paykachova, Viktoria Gromova and Lubov Zakharova and the Ukrainian citizen Vladimir Chemeris.
The detainees were guarded to the Pershamaiski District Police Department, as well as two more Russian citizens, Yuri Jimbladze and Alik Mnatsnakyan who managed to give an improvised press-conference for Belarusian and foreign journalists right at the office entrance.
The detainees were released from the police department after 10 p.m. without receiving any charges. No search was conducted at Viasna's office. According to the Deputy Chair of the HRC Viasna, Valiantsin Stefanovich, the events eloquently demonstrate that the aim of this assault was to neutralize the Russian human rights defenders and disrupt the presentation of the report of international experts concerning the post-election protests of 19 December 2010. By the way, at present the Minsk courts are trying many participants of the protest action.