Raid on a punk concert in Minsk
30 minutes after the beginning of a punk concert in Minsk club "Pirates" the club was stormed by the police and riot police in masks.
January 10 around 7.30 p.m. it became known that the club "Pirates" was raided by the police. Those who were inside were made to stand facing the wall, some were laid on the floor. The police put down their passport data. All in all, there were about 100 visitors in the club.
In some time, three paddy wagons arrived. However, most of the people were let go. The people said that the police were allegedly looking for synthetic smoke mixes, “spices”, but didn't find anything. Nevertheless, the concert was disrupted.
At present there is information that some 2-4 people, who presented for familiarization punk-attributes (books, CDs, T-shirts) were detained.
"Even if there was substantiated information about drugs, the proportionality of the actions of the police is important: laying people down on the floor is far from the most humane method, as well as the use of masks by the riot police. However, we have observed a regular practice of groundless interference of the law machinery in the holding of concerts, accompanied with checking of the documents and even detentions”, - comments human rights defender Nasta Loika. “It's worth
remembering about a similar raid held in the club “Yo-mayo” in March 2012, which was accompanied with the use of physical violence and arrests of social activists. In “Pirates”, the police used to check documents of the present people during events held by the LGBT community yet when it's name was “6A”. That's why such actions of the police suggest another motivation, namely the pursuit of "dissident groups" and updating the database of “unreliable” citizens, which is certainly used for repressive purposes and exceeds the legal framework.”
Initially, all detainees were charged with Art. 17.11 of the Administrative Code, "Production, distribution and (or) storage of extremist materials", later it became known that one of the detainees had been released, but will be judged according to Article. 17.1. - "Disorderly conduct". The trial of two other detainees will also be held at the LeninskiDistrict Court of Minsk. They will be kept at the detention center in Akrestsin Street before the trial.