Russian citizen featured in newspaper detained

A photo against the background of the military – “Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order”?

The front page of “Kamsamolskaya Prauda in Belarus”. The photo in the red dress is Vera Tsvikevich. Photo: “Viasna” / Telegram

The human rights center “Viasna” reported that Vera Tsvikevich, a citizen of the Russian Federation with a residence permit in Belarus, was detained in Minsk on January 27. At first, she is accused of “organization and preparation of actions, blatantly violating public order” (Article 342 of the Criminal Code).

It is unclear why she was detained but human rights activists point out that a photo of the woman was published on the front page of the newspaper in Belarus in August 2020. The photo does not show a disturbance: a woman in a dress sits on the fence with barbed wire, making the sign victory sign with her fingers.

The newspaper with this photo came out on August 25, 2020, in a Russian printing house. Prior to that, the August 18 and 20 issues could not be printed due to restrictions introduced by the Belarusian House of Press.

Journalist Henadz Mazheyka wrote about the events in Minsk, about barbed wire, and Lukashenka with a machine gun in the same newspaper. He was detained last fall after he’d published an article about Andrey Zeltser, who’d been killed in a shootout with KGB officers on September 28. The journalist is still behind bars. The newspaper website was blocked in Belarus. The Kamsamolskaya Prauda decided to leave the country following the restrictions.