Preventive actions: Opposition activists jailed ahead of Chernobyl anniversary march

Jail sentences have been imposed on opposition activists Ilya Dabratvor and Maksim Viniarski shortly before a scheduled demonstration to mark the 28th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

Judge Natallya Asipchyk of Zavodski District Court sentenced Mr Dabratvor to 10 days in jail.

Mr Dabratvor, an activist of opposition organizations Alternatyva and Razam, was arrested by police officers in Minsk on Tuesday evening while he was driving in his own car. The officers searched the vehicle and found 30 small Ukrainian flags and Belarus’ historically national white-red-white flags intended for Alternatyva activists.

Police officers told Mr Dabratvor that he was suspected of stealing the car. Eventually, they charged him with disorderly conduct and disobeying police officers.

On Tuesday, opposition activist Maksim Viniarski was arrested in Minsk and sentenced to a 12-day jail term. An ambulance was called to the courthouse when Mr Viniarski complained that he had acute angina and felt unwell. Although arriving doctors concluded that the man needed hospital treatment, police officers said that he would have to go to the detention center on Akrestsina Street.The activist of an opposition organization called European Belarus went on a ‘dry’ hunger strike following his trial.

The activist of an opposition organization called European Belarus was arrested by police near Karona shopping center in Minsk earlier on Tuesday on the grounds that he ‘resembled a wanted person’. Upon arrival at a police station, he was charged with disobedience to police officers.

Mr Viniarski served a 15-day jail term for participating in a sanctioned ‘Dzen Voli’ (Freedom Day) demonstration that took place in Minsk on March 25 to mark the 96th anniversary of the proclamation of the independence of the 1918 Belarusian National Republic. Jail officers made it clear to him that he would be arrested again unless he stayed out of Minsk until May’s Ice Hockey World Championship was over. Mr Viniarski replied that he did not use drugs or foul language and was not prone to disorderly conduct and would like his possible ‘preventive’ arrest to be viewed as politically motivated persecution., following BelaPAN

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