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Young Front activist searched at border

2014 2014-06-16T12:49:30+0300 2014-06-16T12:49:30+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Ivan Shyla

Ivan Shyla

Ivan Shyla, an activist of the Young Front youth opposition movement, was detained for a search when crossing the Belarusian-Polish border on the night of June 12. As a result, the customs inspection lasted for two and a half hours.

Upon his arrival at the border check point, the border guards seized the activist’s passport. Ivan Shyla had to wait for an hour and a half and then he was sent for a search.

“They forced me to take off my T-shirt, shoes and even my socks. After the inspection they started asking if my laptop had materials contradicting state ideology and national politics. Apparently, they did not find them in the socks. My arguments about the illegality of such requests ended with a threat to confiscate the laptop,” says Ivan Shyla. “My arguments about the confidentiality of information and the lack of materials of extremist and pornographic nature, and inciting ethnic hatred did not convince them. They persistently asked me to show some ideologically wrong materials. However, an hour later I was finally released.”

The Young Front activist says that the incident is an echo of the World Ice Hockey Championship. Then, just like many other Belarusian civil society and political activists, the authorities were looking for Ivan in order to detain him.

“The champ is over, but the border guards, apparently, still have the black lists, because before I had many times crossed the border without any problems. It is the consultations with those who send the black lists to the border guards that consume a couple of hours in order to take a decision. The champ is over, so they let me go. The detention on trumped-up reasons is appalling, but when they release me after three hours I am already happy. This, of course, should not be. The border guards and customs officials shall not engage in political persecution and search for some ideologically wrong materials detaining citizens with opposition views,” says Ivan Shyla.

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