‘Unauthorised mass event’. Business owner gets two-week jail term after visiting KGB

Businessman Alyaksandr Vasilevich was about to hand over his appeal to the Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB), but found himself in a paddy wagon, his wife Nadzeya said on Instagram.


On Monday, Maryia Kalesnikava, a coordinator at Viktar Babaryka’s campaign office, urged Belarusians to contribute to mitigating pre-trial restrictions imposed on the imprisoned presidential hopeful and his son Eduard. In particular, Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich and artist Uladzimir Tsesler expressed their readiness to vouch for the arrested politician.

“We want to ask everyone who cares, everyone who put their faith in Viktar and Eduard, to become their guarantors so that the measure of restriction could be changed. To do this, one need to write an application and file it to the State Security Committee (KGB). A link to the application will be available soon. I am going to file the petition to the KGB on Tuesday, at 16:00. Should there be a lot of us, get in line,” Kalesnikava said.

However, when each petitioner entered the KGB headquarters in Minsk, they immediately fell into the hands of OMON riot police. In total, about 50 persons, including journalists, were detained near or inside the KGB building on Tuesday.

Over 50 people detained in Minsk, among them Belsat journalists

For about 22 hours, Alyaksandr Vasilevich’s wife was not aware of his whereabouts. Later, it became known that he was taken to the pre-detention facility in Akrestsin street. On Thursday, a Minsk court has sentenced him to 14 days of administrative arrest. According to the official version, he took part in an unauthorised mass event and chanted ‘Freedom to Babaryka!’

Alyaksandr Vasilevich owns the advertising agency Vondel/Hepta, the Ў Gallery as well as popular web portals kyky.org and The Village.