Nasta Palazanka and Uladzimir Yaromienka, both Young Front activists, were detained this morning when they attempted to hang white-red-white flags, symbol used by the opposition and banned by the authorities. Palazanka and Yaromienka were taken to a police station, but they managed to send a text message to their fellow activists, informing that they are being arrested around 7.30 am.
Today is the 20th anniversary of establishing white-red-white flag and Pahonia arm of coats as the national symbols of Belarus. Things changed in 1995, when president Lukashenka introduced new symbols, reminding of the soviet tradition. Belarusian authorities have persecuted people who used the old national symbols in public, taking them for opposition supporters and enemies of the regime.
Palazanka and Yaromienka had been convicted before for participating in a demonstration held by the opposition on December 19th against election fraud. Palazanka received a year of suspended sentence. Yaromienka was sentenced to three years in a high security prison camp. He was released on August 13th, after being pardoned by president Lukashenka.