On May 5, Mahiliou police tried to bar well-known Belarusian vlogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski from talking to the viewers.
The resident of Homiel created Youtube channel Страна Для Жизни ( A Country for Life) that has nearly 140,000 subscribers. After covering December’s protests against deepening Belarus-Russia integration, he was sentenced to the total of 30 days in prison. In his Youtube videos, Tsikhanouski harshly criticises the policy pursued by President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
The meeting was to start at 19:00 near the Hippo shopping centre in Mahiliou. The car in which Tsikhanovsky was going was stopped by the local police. Law enforcement officers demanded that its driver Zmitser step out of the car, but he refused. Then an unknown person sprayed tear gas into the vehicle.
“At first, they let us go, then they came again. No one told me whether I was detained. I asked whether any administrative or criminal case had been initiated [against us], but I got no answer. At that moment, I was consulting our lawyer [over the phone], and someone sprayed [gas] into the open window. The police officers threatened to strong-arm us,” Zmitser told belsat.eu.
When Zmitser got out of the car, the police tried to detain him, but the participants did not let them to do that, and the meeting took place.