The unraveling repression against social activists in Belarus indicate the exacerbation of the pre-election hysteria of the Lukashenko government. The hunt for activists started on the same day as the dead body of Aleh Byabenin, the editor of the oppositional news site, was found.
On the 3rd of September seven people were arrested: Bogachek Igor, Khotina Valeria, Slusar Serge, Dedok Nicholas, Zhingerovsky Alexei, Franzkevich Alexander and Laptenok Anton. The cause for their arrest was the Molotov cocktail attack on the Russian Embassy in Minsk on the 30th of August. The previously unknown anarchist group, group Freedom Friends, took responsibility for the attack, claiming it was a solidarity action for the defenders of the Khimki forest. There is no shared opinion on the Freedom Friends group though many people consider them as a provocation of the KGB.
The following days three more people were arrested: Tatiana Seminischeva, Vladimir Volodin and Alexander Bugaev. At this time there are 10 detainees, except Alexandr Bugaev all of them are social activists who participate in various social and ecological movements and hold anarchist views.
Almost every day house-searches are conducted in the flats of activists, interrogations are happening in Minsk and other cities (Homiel, Harodnia, Salihorsk). The detention terms of those arrested on the 3rd of September was already prolonged two times, today (11.09) the detention terms of those arrested on the 8th of Septermber were prolonged too. So far no official accusations have been lodged.
The fact that the detainees are suspected of more and more cases (the arson of the door of the bank, the attack on the Trade Union House and the arson of the ATM that happened this spring) is evidence that the investigation has no real accusations to bring against them. So they are trying to discredit the detainees and present them as simple criminals, saying that ball cartridges and plant-based drugs were found during the house-check. However, this is not the first time the authorities have used this method: after the previous elections in 2006, during the protests in the tent city on the main square syringes and porno magazines were «found».
According to Valentin Stefanovich, a human rights advocate, the rights of the detainees are blatantly violated. Not being able to withstand the pressure during interrogation one of the girls cut her palms with an office knife. For 4th days now, there is still no exact information about the current situation of those detained on the 3rd of Septermber.
As is known, there are no borders for solidarity. We call out for actions everywhere because we really need your support! What can you do? Spread the information about the situation and bring up the discussion in various circles, organize demos and write letters to the Belarusian Embassies in your country. And, of course, we would be grateful for financial support (as quite a lot of money is needed for lawyers). You can donate money through Moscow ABC with a note “for Minsk” - http://wiki.golosa.info/en/index.php/Donate.
Watch for updates here: http://belarus.indymedia.org/blog/minsksolidarity.
For more information you can always contact us.
Friends and relatives of those arrested (Minsk, Belarus)
BACKGROUND (Last updated on Sunday, October 3rd, 22:00):
Detention of Dzianis Bystryk who were arrested at September 30th is prolonged for 3 days. The case is unknown yet.
Situation with Barys Ashchepkau’s detention is unclear yet, most probably it’s prolonged too.
Ihar Truhanovich was released same day with written undertaking not to leave the place. He was hunger-striking first 4 days of his detention.
Mikalaj Dziadok (detained at Sep. 3) was moved to detention facility on Sep., 24. His detention is prolonged for 10 days. He isn’t officially accused, suspected in participating in action against military maneuvers “West 2009” on Sep., 19, 2009 (art. 339 of criminal code).
Mikalaj’s address for solidarity letters is Belarus, Minsk, Valadarskaha str., 2, Mikalaj Dziadok.
As far as we know Aliaksandar Frantskievich on 20 of September was officially accused in attack on police station in Salihorsk. He is not allowed to meet with his mother until he will make “valuable testimonies/confessions”.
Aliaksandar Frantskievich was moved to detention facility in Minsk. Aliaksandar’s address for solidarity letters is Belarus, Minsk, Valadarskaha str., 2, SIZO-1, k. 46, Aliaksandar Frantskievich.
Other arrested activists were not officially accused.
During September lots of house-searches and interrogations happened in Belarusian cities Minsk, Salihorsk, Homiel, Hrodna and Brest. Tens of various people (from subculturals and football fans to anti-nuclear and FNB activists) were questionned about their communications, cell calls, friends circle, activities, asked to recognize people on the photos from underground concerts. In Minsk people were pressed to give testimonies against Mikalaj Dziadok.
Incident near the Russia embassy (Molotoff was thrown there at the late August by group of unknowns calling themselves to be anarchistic group “Friends of Freedom”), which was a formal reason for hunt on activists, is now “forgotten” by police (no one was accused), but arrests and interrogations are still continuing.
Dissent! France Info Newsletter, 4 octobre 2010.
À propos de la détention illégale de Nicolaj Dedok, 24 septembre.
Les événements en cours (avec la liste des arrestations), 23 septembre.
Appel à la solidarité internationale, 12 septembre.
The case of the arsonists of the RF Embassy is stuck but the detainees are not released so far, 11 septembre.
Sept «nous» à propos de sept détenus, 8 septembre.
Vers une nouvelle vague d’arrestations ?, 7 septembre.
Deuxième jour sous les verrous pour les six activistes arrêtés après l’attaque de l’ambassade de Russie, 5 septembre.
La police biélorusse kidnappe des activistes, 4 septembre.