Liabedzka to appear before court for ‘unsanctioned demonstration’

On January, 12 oppositionist Anatol Liabedzka was detained in Minsk. The leader of the United Civic Party was grabbed by police officers at about 11 a.m., as soon as he walked out of his apartment building.

The politician was to have driven to the city center to collect signatures against a newly imposed tax on motor vehicle owners.

As Mr Liabedzka told news agency BelaPAN, he was grabbed in a ‘police operation’ involving at least seven officers. “I saw a man on the street and shouted my name for him to report my arrest to my family,” he said. “When I started to shout, the policemen began to punch me in the kidneys. They bundled me into a vehicle, uttering threats, and took me to the Savetski district police department and then to a police station where I was fingerprinted and charged with an unsanctioned demonstration in connection with our January 5 signature-collection attempt”.

Anatol Liabedzka was being kept by police for some six hours. The police officers probably wanted to frighten him hinting at a possible outcome of his activity. “They drove me past Kurapaty [Stalin-era massacre site] and a crematorium but eventually brought me to my home,” he said.

According to Mr Liabedzka, he is scheduled to appear for trial in Savetski District Court in Minsk at 10 a.m. on January 14., following BelaPAN

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