Expecting protests: Belarus authorities neutralize opposition activists

A month has passed since September’s protests against the war game Zapad-2017. But the authorities keep persecuting its participants. Vyachaslau Suprun, a judge at Partyzanski district court, sentenced politician Vyachaslau Siuchyk to five days in jail.

The sentence was given in absentia, and the politician is still at liberty.

At the moment, politician Pavel Sevyarynets and activist Yauhen Afnahel are kept in the predetention centre in Minsk for their taking part in the protest rally on September, 8. According to the Belarusian oppositionists, the regime resorts to the practice of postponed arrests to suspend the dissidents from the social and political life.

As reported earlier, the opposition is getting ready for the March of Outraged Belarusians 2.0 which is scheduled for October, 21. Sevyarynets, Afnahel and Maksim Vinyarski (the latter was arrested for sharing a post on the web) will be still serving their terms at that day.

“Placing people under such terrible conditing is nothing but ruining their health. The authorities intentiolnally do them harm,” Siuchyk said.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s neutralization of activists seems to have had side effects – it is about the Belarusian authorities’ image in the eyes of Western countries. EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn was to arrive in Minsk on October 17, but suddenly the visit was canceled.

Officially, the reason for the cancellation was Hahn’s busyness, but observers do not exclude that it is a sign of Brussels’ discontent with the repressive methods against the opposition and ordinary citizens. As reported earlier, on Saturday the Minsk police brutally detained attenders of a rock concert.

The Belarusian National Congress, which is going to stage the March of Outraged Belarusians 2.0, informed the Minsk authorities of the upcoming event. According to the organizers, they have not asked for permission as it is the Constitution that ensures right to peaceful protests.


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