About 120 persons took part in Sunday’s protest rally in the centre of Brest, human rights activist Raman Kislyak told belsat.eu.
A year ago, Brest residents started protesting against the construction of a hazardous battery factory by the iPower company. As the city authorities outlaw protests, people do not make speeches or chant any slogans – they just feed pigeons or carry baloons.
Interestingly, the city authorities that were apparently willing to prevent people from gathering in Lenin Square, organized an event there.
“They staged some festivities there and make schoolchildren attend it. As a result, protesters came to the square, but then decided along Pushkinskaya and Savetskaya streets to the Belarus cinema,” Kislyak said.
According to the human rights defender, there were no incidents during the march, but the local policemen were keeping a wary eye on the protesters all the time.
“No one has been arrested today, but a day earlier, they preventively detained activist Vital Kazak. He was summoned to the police station and then taken to the department of Interior,” Kislyak stressed.
Later, Kazak was transferred to the predetention centre, he may be stand trial soon.
For the first time, the locals took part in peaceful protesting on February 25, 2018. Over the past year, people came to the square every Sunday, filed complaints and appeals, collected 40,000 signatures, but the authorities keep ignoring their opinion.
About 70 mass events were banned. Therefore, people gather in the central square of Brest and feed pigeons, but even in this format, the authorities use repression. Many participants of the pigeon feeding were detained by the police, people were fined and held in prison. Moreover, every appearance of the Belsat journalists is punishable by heavy fines.
The battery plant near the city is being built in the free economic zone Brest by a Chinese corporation. The project was commissioned by the iPower company. It is planned that the plant will have a full cycle of production of lead-acid batteries.