Police storm apartment of 20-year-olds in Minsk

In the morning of April 13, unmarked law enforcers came to search the apartment of a young family, Pyotr and Marharyta Pazhytnykh. To get into the apartment, they broke the glass on the balcony and broke the door. According to the young man’s relatives, Pyotr is in police custody, and his wife was released after several hours of being detained.

The search in the apartment of Pyotr and Marharyta Pazhytnykh. Photo: relatives of Pyotr Pazhytnykh

Pyotr Pazhytnykh is not a radical activist. They had no prior detentions or fines, and they did not participate in protests, says his sister-in-law Darya. In the morning, Pyotr’s neighbors called her and said police were storming Pazhytnykh’s apartment on the first floor.

“They’re 20-year-old kids. Police came, broke the double door with a crowbar, broke the glass on the balcony, turned everything upside down. It was the husband’s mother’s apartment, they wouldn’t let us in, they wouldn’t show us any IDs. The dog was barking all over the street. They were in plain clothes, with masks and caps, like GUBOPIK. They said not to worry, they were conducting a search and would take them away for questioning. We asked to see the witnesses, but they did not show us any. Later the janitor was brought in.”

“The apartment was left open, not sealed, no documents left, the lights were on. They may have broken the glass on the balcony, trying to get into the room through the window because the intercom and doorbell didn’t work. Maybe the children were asleep and did not hear that someone knocked.”

The reasons for the raid and search of the young family are not known. Now Pyotr is in the Pershamaisky District Police Department, and Marharyta has been released but cannot give any information.

Later, a post with a video appeared in the “Yellow Leaks” telegram channel, in which Pyotr said that he had been detained for “calling for roadblocks and radicalism” in the “Uruchcha Civil Society” chat room, which he administered.