Authorities try to intimidate youth activists

Just before Wednesday’s peaceful protests, KGB and the police attempted to intimidate young people in almost 30 different Belorussian cities. “Nasha Niva”, an independent newspaper, published on their website published stories of those summoned for a “warning conversation”.

A student from Vitebsk, who just recently joined “Revolution through social network” group, was informed by phone that he needs to immediatelly come to a registrar office at his university. When he arrived, instead of administration employees he encountered two special services officers, who – as they claimed – wanted to have with him “a constructive dialouge”.

In Hrodna, a youth activist was summoned by KGB. The purpose of the meeting was “to conduct a survey”. Once he showed up at the KGB station, he was asked about his plans for Wednesday June 15th and if he knows people who organized the demonstration at the city’s main square last week.

He was than presented with his own comments from the “Revolution through social networks” group. KGB claimed that this can constitute an evidence of him organizing social distruptions. The KGB also requested that he lists names and phone numbers of real organizers. The arestee refused to give any information, claiming his does not know the initiators of the protests.

In Mohylevo, an employee of prosecutor’s office visited a young activist, Nastia Valavikowa in her house. She was told that she is black-listed and her political activism might make it impossible for her to study at a university.

A day before the protest was held, Belorussian prosecution warned in various media that for inciting people through Internet to participate in unregistered mass events, there are criminal and adminstrative charges. Despite the threats, protests were held in almost 30 Belorussian cities. Two to ten times as much people have particiated in the action on Wednesday. Just in Minsk, there was more than a thousand of people. On Thursday city executive committee announced that all mass events are banned in the city center.

Michał Janczuk (TV Biełsat)

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