72-year-old opposition activist Nina Bahinskaya has been detained when picketing near the statue of Gorodovoi (Tsarist-era policeman) in Minsk.
In addition, activists Alena Talstaya, Maksim Klimovich and Nadzeya Batura, who were filming the situation, are also among the detainees. They have been taken to the police station.
The video shows that when Bahinskaya managed to place the poster ‘Freedom To Political Prisoners’ on the statue, a policeman approached her and said that ‘one may not hang anything on Gorodovoi’. The activist put the poster on herself, but three other policemen came and detained the group.
Зараз уже в центр.рувд мы
Publiée par Надежда Батура sur Vendredi 4 janvier 2019
The Gorodovoi that is rumoured to be liked by Interior Minister Ihar Shunevich has apparently gained notoriety for the recent years. In November, the Minsk police made a young man apologize for slapping the statue and posted a corresponding video on their official Youtube channel. Later, Minsk resident Dzmitry Zavadzki was taken to the police station only for putting a scarf on the statue – he just wanted to take a picture of the ‘dressed’ Gorodovoi.
On December 2, anarchist Vyachaslau Kasinerau, Syarhei Sparysh and other activists laid a funeral wreath with the inscription ‘The Interior Ministry’s Public Image’ at Gorodovoi. Kasinerau and Sparysh were tried and fined.
In March 2017, a group of activists held a performance by putting a noose around the neck of Gorodovoi. They protested against police abuse and harassment of anarchist activists for participating in peaceful protests. Kasinerau was charged with committing a crime under part 1 of article 339 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism) and fined.
However, forcing the teenager to apologize to the sculpture, as well as the police, triggered a wave of public outrage. Interestingly, Heorhi Yauchar, Head of the Information and Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, lost his position. At the same time, Shunevich denies that the situation became the reason for removing his subordinate and even admitted that it was him who had come up with the idea to make the teenager express regret for slapping Gorodovoi.
The Belarusian Interior Minister is an ardent admirer of the Bolshevik secret services that murdered and executed tsarist officers without remorse.