Anatol Labedko briefly detained in Moscow

Mr. Labedko, a leader of the United Civic Party of Belarus (UCPB) was detained by Russian border guards when he landed in Moscow airport to transfer to another plane, on September 13th. A witness to the arrest, a Russian dissident Leonid Guzman, said that Labedko was finally allowed to board a plane flying from Moscow to Washington.

Hanna Krasulin, the UCPB spokesperson, informed Belsat that she received a text message from Labedko’s phone that “everything is fine”. But she is still unable to reach Mr. Labedko. Ms. Krasulin suspects that ”either Labedko boarded the plane or someone else is using his phone” – she said.

Labedko was detained most probably because he did not have his passport, which was confiscated by the Belarusian KGB during the legal proceedings. The politician was arrested after the December 19th anti-regime demonstration and released on April 7th, on a condition of not leaving the country. Finally, on August 23rd the criminal case against him was dismissed. But he still did not have his passport returned.

Labedko found a way to travel without passport, visiting Poland recently to meet with the Polish Prime Minister Tusk and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sikorski. He bragged about outwitting Belarusian KGB – It’s a tie in a game between me and the KGB. They haven’t returned anything yet [the passport] and I have already left the country. – I think it will be an impulse for them to return the passport, because holding it does not make any sense any more.” – he added.

Russian authorities have not commented on the issue. According to Interfaks, the Belarusian dissident was not blacklisted and banned from entering Russia.


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