Belarusians picket Interpol office in Warsaw

Belarusians picket Interpol office. Warsaw, 4 November 2021. Photo: Belsat

On Thursday, representatives of the Belarusian opposition and activists gathered in front of the building in which the Interpol office is located in the Polish capital city.

The protesters urged the International Criminal Police Organization to suspend their ooperation with the Belarusian authorities. They also demanded the politically persecuted Belarusians be protected abroad.

Belarusians picket Interpol office. Warsaw, 4 November 2021. Photo: Belsat

In late October, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s Office and ByPol, a campaign created by opposition-minded people who earlier belonged to Belarusian uniformed services, have filed an official letter to Interpol, in which they call on its representatives to block the Lukashenka regime’s access to Interpol’s resources. According to Belarusian oppositionists, the authorities might use such collaborative relationship for the purpose of political persecution.

Earlier, ByPol published a number of leaked telephone conversations held by pro-Lukashenka officials; as it appears from the recordings, the Belarusian authorities tried to put Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya and other opposition leaders on the Interpol wanted list. But the organisation rejected their appeal and even issued a warning to Minsk, urging them not to exert pressure on political opponents.

‘Don’t work for Belarusian dictator’: Diaspora in France picket Interpol office

However, the warning does not seem to discourage the Belarusian authorities; they continue asking for information about Belarusians from Interpol and demanding their being extradited from foreign countries. As reported earlier, 27-year-old Belarusian citizen Makary Malakhouski was detained in the Polish town of Piaseczno on September 12. He was arrested at the request, which the Belarusian police had submitted to Interpol. The young man was internationally wanted on a so-called red card. Fortunately, the young man was released the following day, as the Polish Ministry of the Interior realised that Belarus abused international lists of persons in search – red cards.

Jürgen Stock, the Secretary General of Interpol, is expected to arrive in Poland in November in order to discuss the prevention of the use of Interpol red cards by Belarus and Russia to prosecute political opponents of the authorities.