Wave of arrests in Minsk: European Belarus activist detained

The Minsk police have preventively arrested Leanid Kulakou, an activist of the European Belarus civil campaign and a mover of the proposal to hols a march on Freedom Day.

They are taking me out of the house,” he managed to tell belsat.eu.

According to the activist, he is charged with participating in an unauthorised rally (Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code). Kulakou is being driven to Pershamayski district police department.

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. Riot policemen made activist Yauhen Afnahel leave his place after threatening to storm the house. Politician Mikalai Statkevich has been staying at home for several days so that the police could not grab him. Volha Nikalaichyk‘s house is also being observed by unknown persons in civvies. 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.


See also