Over 80 people detained for insulting murdered KGB officer

According to the human rights center Viasna, 84 people were detained on September 29-30 in Belarus. Most of them were commenting on social feeds about the death of IT specialist Andrey Zeltsar and KGB officer Dzmitry Fedasiuk.

Detentions on September 29-30 took place in Minsk, Homiel, Vitsebsk, Mahiliou, Zhlobin. On the morning of October 1, the list of detainees included 84 people. According to Viasna, they were detained under criminal articles 369 (‘Insulting a representative of the authorities’) and 130 (‘Inciting social hatred’). Human rights activists believe that the new wave of repressions and detentions is connected to the commentaries in social feeds about the deaths of Andrey Zeltsar and Dzmitry Fedasyuk.

Authorities arrest wife of Minsker Andrey Zeltsar who shot down KGB officer

Illya Mironau, an activist and volunteer from Homiel, known for his active support of political prisoners, was among those detained. The Homiel resident’s mother reported that he was arrested on September 29 and detained for 72 hours. Earlier Illya Mironau was sentenced to 25 days of administrative arrest for having a ‘Write Letters’ inscription on his T-shirt.

On the same day in Stolin, former border guard officer Alyaksandr Velyasnitski, who in August 2020 publicly renounced his medal ‘For Impeccable Service’, was detained. According to Alyaksandr’s relatives, he was detained by the KGB, then taken to Pinsk, and promised not to be kept there for long. But on the morning of September 30th, they came to search his wife for weapons and explosives. At present, Alyaksandr Velyasnitski is in the Akrestsina jail.

Propaganda telegram channels began to upload ‘repentant’ videos of Belarusians, who were detained on September 29 and 30 solely for having expressed their opinions about the incident in Minsk. It emerged that Alyaksandr Filipau (Kanstantsin Filipau on the Viasna list), Pavel Kazlouski, Viktar Klimchyk, Vital Astreika, Alesya Novik, Ruslan Asyatrou, Artsyom Antsipenka, and others remained in custody.

KGB starts mass detentions amid wave of indignation on web

Propaganda leaks also revealed information about the detention of EPAM Systems employee Syarhei Kiryienka from Homiel.

Human rights activists report that detentions and searches continued on October 1. Since early morning, officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs have detained people in Babruisk. We are monitoring the situation.