Yauhen Afnahel. one of the leaders of the Belarusian National Congress, has been arrested on Friday morning.
Their place has been ‘under siege’ for several days, policemen kept a 24-hour watch, his wife Katsyaryna Ludvih told charter97.org.
“In the morning, riot policemen said they had been ordered to arrest Yauhen in any case and by all means, even if he failed to leave home till 26 March. They warned they would storm the house and use riot-control weapons. They also asked whether there were small children in the house and said they would break windows and even interior doors,” the woman said.
Yauhen Afnahel is to stand trial today, it is still unknown what charges have been brought against him.
A number of festive events are 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, but failed to give any approval.
As reported earlier, the authorities started to preventively detain politicians who were about to hold a march on March 25, Belarus’ unofficial Freedom Day. Uladzimir Nyaklyayeu and Maxim Vinyarski will spend 10 days in prison; Vyachaslau Siuchyk – 5 days. Politician Mikalai Statkevich has been staying at home for several days so that the police could not grab him. On Thursday, activists of the BPF Youth were detained when distributing invitations to the concert authorised by Minsk authorities.
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 even persecuting those who pay the tribute to the BNR.