Police against rally of solidarity with political prisoner

Police tried to disband a new rally of solidarity of young people who demanded release of the political prisoner Alyaksandr Barazenka held near the remand prison in Valadarski Street in Minsk.

Protests with a demand to release Barazenka are held in Minsk every day. Yesterday activists of the civil campaign “European Belarus”, initiative “Young Belarus”, “Young Front” and “Young Democrats” organisation gathered near the remand prison with portraits of the prisoner of conscience. However policemen tried to disband the rally again. But this time policemen left protesters alone, and nobody was detained.

9 oppositionists were detained near the remand prison on November 21. Three of them were released almost immediately, while 6 were taken to the police department of Maskouski district of Minsk. They were fingerprinted and released in 3 hours without reports being drawn up.

On November 22 policemen arrested 15 participants of the solidarity rally. Most detainees were activists of the civil campaign “European Belarus”, but representatives of the initiative “young Belarus” and “young Democrats” were detained too. Among them were Maxim Vinyarski, Palina Dyakova, Palina Kuryanovich, Mikhail Pashkevich, Bahuslayu Ravyaka, Artur Finkevich and others.

A photo journalist of “Nasha Niva” newspaper Yuliya Darashkevich was detained as well. As the Charter’97 press-centre was told by Yuliya darashkevich, policemen detained her with application of force, without paying attention to her journalist’s certificate.

Among the detained there was an aunt of the political prisoner Barazenka. Despite of the age of the woman, a policeman Syarhei Tsitou was very rude with her; he pushed her into the car together with other participants of the rally.

In the police department activists were held for more than an hour and then released, after a few of them were fingerprinted.

The activist of the civil campaign “European Belarus” Alyaksandr Barazenka was arrested on October 27 in the Investigation committee of preliminary investigation of the directorate of Internal Affairs of Minsk city executive committee where he came for an interrogation. The oppositionist is one of the accused in the Process of Fourteen, a criminal case initiated on charges relating Article 342 of the Criminal Code against peaceful protest participants. Their rally was held in Minsk on January 10, 2008. It is notable that the arrest took place right after the EU suspended sanctions against high-ranking Belarusian officials.