‘Facedown! Arms behind back!’ Masked policemen detain Brest blogger live


Riot police in the block of flats Pyatrukhin lives in. Photo: Uladzimir Vyalichkin

The riot police have broken into the flat of Brest-based blogger Syarhei Pyatrukhin on Thursday morning.

Syarhei’s friend, activist Alyaksandr Kabanau, reported the situation on Facebook. According to the human rights centre Viasna, the blogger’s home is being searched now.

Syarhei Pyatrukhin managed to film a short video of his being detained.

“Guys, the police are now trying to break into my flat. I’m shocked,” he said.

“They have broken the door down. The floor is blocked by riot police. The reason must be the case of the battery plant. We were threatened. They said if we didn’t stop we might land up in prison,” Kabanau told belsat.eu.

In July, a criminal case was opened against Pyatrukhin. The case was initiated under part 2 of Article 189 of the Criminal Code of Belarus (“Insult”). The sanction of the article provides for a fine, or correctional labor for up to two years, or arrest, or restriction of freedom for up to three years.

The man does not know whom he insulted, but he does not doubt that this way the authorities want to take revenge for his anti-corruption investigations.

Syarhei Pyatruhin and Alyaksandr Kabanau have been speaking against the construction of iPower battery factory in their native Brest. The activists repeatedly covered the protests against the potentially harmful enterprise.

ЮВ, belsat.eu

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