Ryhor Kastusiou, the leader of the Belarusian People’s Front (BPF) party and a 2010 presidential candidate, was detained in the town of Shklou (Mahiliou region) on Sunday evening.
The politician was taken to Minsk, where he was placed in the notorious KGB remand prison ‘Amerykanka’, the BPF reports. A KGB officer phoned Kastusiou’s daughter and informed her of the father’s being taken into custody. Ryhor Kastusiou is known to have been jailed as part of a criminal case, but the charge and other circumstances have not been specified yet.
“The BPF which is a legal political party and its chairman, the leader of an officially registered political party, do conduct their activities in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus. We strongly condemn the detention of the BPF leader and consider it to be an unfounded step and a case of the incumbent authorities’ political persecution of opponents. We demand the immediate release of BPF chairman Ryhor Kastusiou,” Belarusian People’s Front deputy chairman Vadzim Saranchukou said.
On April 13, Ryhor Kastusyou’s son-in-law Zmitser Antonchyk was also detained in Shklou for some unknown reason; he might have been apprehended in light of the above mentioned criminal case.
(UPD) Ryhor Kastusiou is a suspect in the criminal case opened under Article 342 of the Criminal Code (‘organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or participation in them’), the newspaper Nasha Niva reports.