The Minsk Police have started to preventively detain activists and politicians who were about to hold a march on March 25, Belarus’ unofficial Freedom Day.
A number of festive events were scheduled for Sunday on the occasion of the upcoming 100th anniversary of the proclamation of Belarus’ nationhood.
In late February, Minsk authorities allowed to hold a Freedom Day concert and a rally next to the Opera and Ballet Theatre, but banned the applicants from marching. However, several politicians submitted another application for holding a march on the occasion at Minsk city executive committee.
Vyachaslau Siuchyk was detained near his house, activist Alena Talstaya says. At the moment, he is in Tsentralny district police department.
The police also detained poet and former political prisoner Uladzimir Nyaklyayeu, the Human Rights Centre Viasna. According to preliminary information, he was taken to the Leninski district police department, but local policemen keep refuting it. Nyaklyayeu’s lawyer is trying to know about his whereabouts and state
Activist Maxim Vinyarski was arrested when walking with his dog, his friend Leanid Kulakou said on Facebook. Now Vinyarski is in Pershamayski district police department.
Только что арестовали Максима Винярского. Он выгуливал собаку во дворе своего дома и там его взяли. Сейчас его везутт В Первомайское РОВД вместе собакой.
Security officials are currently after former presidential candidate and political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich, human rights defenders warn.
March 25, 2018 will be the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the Belarusian People’s Republic (BNR). It came into existence at the end of the First World War, when Bolshevik forces left Minsk and the city was occupied by German troops. On March 25, 1918 the Provisional Government (Rada) proclaimed the independence of the BNR. After the Red Army re-entered Minsk, the Communist government replaced the Rada; its members had to emigrate. For many years, Lukashenka regime has been slamming and persecuting those who remember the BNR.