Mass arrests for 1 May action of “European Belarus”

Zmitser Dashkevich, Young Front leader, was sentenced in his absence to 7-day arrest for action of the civil campaign “European Belarus” on 1 May. Young Front deputy head Artur Finkevich was sentenced in absentia, too.

“He was shouting slogans, calling to Belarus’ joining the EU, by these actions violated the established order of organising and holding of mass events in the Republic of Belarus,” says the decision of the Pershamaiski district court on arrest of Young Front leader Zmitser Dashkevich.

It is necessary to note that both Zmitser Dashkevich and Artur Finkevich weren’t summoned to court or to militia department since 1 May. Moreover, according to part 1 of article 11.4 of the Administrative Procedure Code a judge doesn’t have the right to hear the case in absence of an accused, except the situations, when the accused person has confessed his or her guilt, or has repeatedly ignored requests for summons. According to the Code on Administrative Offences, the decision of the court violates the law and is not legally valid.

More than 100 activists of the civil campaign “European Belarus” came to the National Library on 1 May and rose up dozens of European flags at the official rally. 1 May is officially marked in Belarus as Labour Day. Besides, this date has an important meaning both for Europe and for Belarus: four years ago 10 new states joined the European Union and the EU border extended to our country.

As soon as EU flags appeared among the red-green official flags at the rally, riot militiamen run up to oppositionists. Riot militiamen snatched EU flags away, broke flagpoles, took away blue cloths with stars.

About 30 people were detained at the official rally. Mikola Statkevich, one of the leaders of “European Belarus,” and Artur Finkevich, Young Front deputy head, were convicted for this action earlier.