Illya Mironau, a volunteer from Homiel, has not been released after spending 72 hours in a detention centre.
According to his mother Valyantsina, he has been transferred to a remand prison.
Illya Mironau is known for his actively writing letters to political prisoners; by the moment, the number of the letters sent has exceeded 2,000. On August 17, he was detained on a flimsy basis (the man was wearing a T-shirt with the inscription ‘Write Letters!’), accused of ‘picketing’ and sentenced to 25 days in jail.
The young man was again detained on September 30. It is highly likely that the current reason for his being persecuted is a post on Facebook. There he commented on the recent shootout which resulted in the deaths of Minsk-based IT specialist Andrey Zeltsar and KGB officer Dzmitry Fedasyuk.
Pro-Lukashenka special services have been using the tragedy on Yakubouski Street in Minsk as a pretext for stepping up reprisals: during last week’s large-scale operation, they held over 100 persons throughout the country. On September 29-30, detentions took place in Minsk, Homiel, Vitsebsk, Mahiliou, other cities and towns of Belarus. 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 repression is connected to the people’s discussing the story of Zeltsar and Fedasyuk on social media platforms.
In accordance with the authorities’ version, Belarusian security officers were conducting a ‘special inspection of the apartments in which people involved in terrorist activities could have been’ on September 28 ; in the course of Tuesday’s KGB raid, two persons were killed on Yakubouski Street in Minsk – KGB officer Dzmitry Fedasyuk and EPAM employee Andrey Zeltsar. The latter resided in the flat to which plainclothed people broke into on that day. If the Investigative Committee’s statement is anything to go by, Zeltsar fired a shotgun at the visitors and injuted one of them; later, the injured died of wounds in hospital. The owner of the apartment was killed as well; his 40-year-old wife Maryia Uspenskaya was arrested on suspicion of complicity in the murder of a KGB officer.