Mikalai Kazlou, Chairman of the United Civic Party of Belarus, was detained on Monday evening in Minsk, the Coordination Council reports on Telegram.
Heading to a friend’s place, Mikalai texted him at 6.39 pm saying that if he failed to come within 15 minutes, it would mean his being grabbed by the police. He did not show up at his friend’s, one cannot get in touch with the politician.
According to his party fellows’ information, Mikalai Kazlou was taken to the notorious detention centre on Akrestsin Street.
As reported earlier, Kazlou refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement three times after being interrogated. In light of this, he was sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest and repeatedly summoned to the district police department for ‘conversations’. In the wake of one of such conversations, Mikalai had to spend three days in Akrestsin jail for unknown reasons.
In early March, Mikalai Kazlou was charged with ‘deliberate disclosure of information about investigation, preliminary investigation or closed court hearing’ (Article 407-1 of the Criminal Code). The maximum penalty under this article is three years of imprisonment.
“I am convinced that I never gave away any secret information. I just said that the case of the Coordination Council was fabricated and the innocent people were imprisoned. The investigators are trying to cover their incompetence with those non-disclosure agreements. The investigative group considered my refusal to sign such an agreement as an administrative offense, although I did exercise my legal right,” Mikalai Kazlou commented on the situation.
Mikalai Kazlou is also a member of the opposition Coordination Council which was set up by Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya and her associates as part of taking urgent measures to restore law and order in Belarus as well as to ensure the transfer of power in the country. Belarus’ Prosecutor General opened a criminal case over establishing the Council, naming it a ‘threat to national security’.