3 days of arrest for T-shirt ‘Lukashenka, go away!’

Yury Rubtsou, a member of an independent trade-union, came to Minsk to participate in a memorial event on Dziady (All Souls Day). He was wearing a T-shirt bearing inscriptions ‘Lukashenka, go away!’ and ‘Fourfold President – not President but self-appointed tsar!’. Before a march started policemen recommended Mr Rubtsou to take it off but he refused saying there are no regulations outlawing such clothes in Belarus.

Soon after the meeting the Homel native was gripped by four plain-clothes people, put in a minibus and driven away in full sight of journalists and activists.

In court Mr Rubtsou’s defence lawyer pointed out that the policemen had made a lot of mistakes while drawing up a report, e.g. the document had not been signed by the detainee.

The witnesses’ evidence were controversial: police officers Pelyapeyka and Herman stated that even after they had shown their warrant cards to Mr Rubsou he kept resisting.

However, according to the witnesses for defence, at that moment the police officers were plain-clothes. Moreover, they were brutally detaining Mr Rubtsou without offer their ID cards.

Judge Dzmitry Paulichenka found Mr Rubtsou guilty to disobedience and sentenced him to three days under arrest.


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