Leaflets of Belarusian opposition candidates banned?

Residents of the village of Malinauka, Minsk region, have faced the peculiarities of the Belarusian political life. Not being involved in the current election campaign, they nevertheless felt the pressure similar to that of domestic opposition activists.

The other day, according to Yauhen Filipau and Valyantsina Somava, three policemen came to them with a search.

The reason was the leaflets of the opposition candidate for the election to the Minsk regional and Baraulyany village councils of deputies Volha Byalyautsava. Yauhen Filipau took the agitation material in the store and brought it home, he also showed it to neighbors.

“A citizen has the right to take printed material that was legally printed and share it with other citizens of Belarus. Everything corresponds to the letter of the law,” comments Viktar Bartashevich, a confidant of Volha Byalyautsava.

The policemen considered this illegal campaigning activity.

The candidate for deputy believes that this situation can become the basis for further persecution. To prevent possible pressure, Volha Byalyautsava appealed to the prosecutor’s office with a request to arrange a check on “facts of interference with the exercise of electoral rights.”

The last thing is especially worrying for the candidate

“I understand perfectly well that you can write anything in these three papers. You can create problems for Yauhen and for me,” said the candidate for deputy.

The man explains the reason for consent to sign empty papers under pressure.

“They made me do it. They threatened me. If you do not sign the paper, we’ll take you there, you’ll sign them,” says Yauhen Filipau.

Elections of local council deputies will be held in Belarus on February 18th. A total of about 22,000 candidates were registered. Of these, only about 150 are opposition.

Lola Buryeva, “Belsat”, photo: apostrophe.ua

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