Pressure on opposition parties’ leaders: Kazlou in hospital, Barysau in remand prison

Mikalai Kazlou. Photo:

Mikalai Kazlou, Chairman of the United Civic Party of Belarus (UCPB), was taken to hospital from the detention centre on Akrestsin Street in Minsk, UCPB reports.

The politician was detained on March, 22. 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.

Minsk: Politician Mikalai Kazlou taken to detention centre

On March 23, Mikalai Kazlou felt unwell when being tried in one of Minsk courts; hypertension ailed him. Before the hearing, he spent a night in a tightly packed cell where chlorinated water remained on the floor.

Meanwhile, the whereabouts of Ihar Barysau, the head of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada), was unknown for a long time. He was grabbed by masked men right in front of his family on Sunday afternoon; on the following day, he got a 15-day jail term for alleged disobedience to law enforcement officers.

Later, his wife Alena Barysava got information that Ihar was placed in the remand prison in the town of Zhodzina.

The Belarusian Social Democratic Party, together with the movement For Freedom and the Belarusian People’s Front, asked Minsk City Executive Committee for permission to hold a march on Belarusians’ unofficial Freedom Day. The opposition activists filed the application to the city authorities on March, 9. However, they got a refusal from the city authorities which referred to the coronavirus pandemic and ‘calls from extremist Telegram channels’ to take to the streets.

Minsk authorities fail to authorise Freedom Day events, cite COVID-19 pandemic as reason