‘Unauthorised event’: Priest tried over paying tribute to alleged post-election victim

Alyaksandr Bohdan. Photo. psmb.ru

On Wednesday, Father Alyaksandr (Bohdan), an Orthodox Christian priest from the Cathedral of St. Peter and Pavel in Vaukavysk, was found guilty of participating in an unauthorised event that took place in the downtown on September, 13.

The priest says he just intended to honour the memory of the deceased Kanstantsin Shyshmakou.

Shyshmakou, the director of the local museum of military history and a member of a precinct commission, went missing on August, 15. It is known that he refused to sign the final protocol of the election. His dead body was found three days later. The circumstances of his death have not been widely reported, but the police claim it was not of criminal nature, implying that Shyshmakou committed suicide. As reported earlier, there are other deaths linked to post-election protests (Alyaksandr Taraykouski, Alyaksandr Vikhor, Henadz Shutau, Mikita Kryutsou and Artsyom Parukou).

National Art Museum employees picketing in support of Kanstanstin Shyshmakou. 18 August 2020.
Photo: belsat.eu

“On September 13, I brought flowers to the museum and quietly said a prayer. I was on my way home when some persons approached and offered to see me off. And we were walking and talking about something. I did not pay attention to who were walking behind and in front of me. But as I was told later, there was a column of people, and it was filmed by police officers. When studying the video footage, they identified me. I was summoned to the regional police department, where they drew up a protocol over taking part in an unauthorised event. I thought that I would be acquitted, because there was no evidence or any guilt. However, as the judge said, the law was broken. I received a warning,” Father Alyaksandr told TUT.BY.

Two policemen appeared as witnesses in court. Local residents showed up at the hearing to support the priest.

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