Aleksander Malchanaw had been just released after spending 10 days in prison for allegedly disobeying a police order, when he was arrested again – this time for three days. The news came on Monday from Belarusian human rights center “Viasna”.
Malchanaw will be most probably charged with disrespecting state symbols. After someone stained state-sanctioned flags with paint in town of Borysaw on October 26th, Belarusian police stormed and searched Malchanaw’s house few times. No evidence against him was found, but his computer was confiscated.
Aleksander Malchanaw was released from a prison camp after serving there few months, when president Lukashenka granted him clemency on September 14th. Now, he is facing years of imprisonment again. According to Belarusian human rights defenders, extending the arrest for the former political prisoner might be an attempt to exert psychological pressure in order to get testimony on who stained the official state symbols.
Before Lukashenka came to power, Belarus used a historical white-red-and-white flag, but under the current regime soviet symbolism was restored and the flag changed.
Michał Janczuk (TV Belsat)