In the run-up to Victory Day celebrations, the Belarusian police are detaining activists in Minsk, Brest, Mahiliou, Lida, Hrodna and other places of the country. Many of them have already appeared before court; two Belsat contributors are also in the crosshairs.
Five participants in Tuesday’s meeting with popular Belarusian vlogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski have been put on trial in Kastrychnitski District Court of Mahilou, our correspondent Alina Skrabunova reports. On May 6, Tsikhanouski’s car was stopped by the traffic police not far from Mahiliou. The blogger was taken to the local predetention facility. Dozens of his subscribers showed up at organic protest rallies to support him.
According to her, all of them were charged with violating the rules of holding mass events (Article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offences). .
Three members of Tsikhanouski’s team have been sentenced to administrative arrests; Artsyom Sakau will have to spend 5 days in custody, Alyaksandr Aranovich – 6 days, Uladzimir Nyaronski – 10.
Stsyapan Lazaronak and Vyachaslau Zaytsau, who took part in the meeting on May 5, have got five- and two-day prison term, respectively.
“Before the start of the trials, human rights activist and journalist Alyaksandr Burakou was here. But a police van drove up and he was taken away. They said he was a person against whom administrative proceedings had been initiated,” Skrabunova said.
As reported earlier, freelance cameraman and Belsat TV contributor Mikhail Arshynski was detained by the police on May, 7. Now he is being kept in the pre-trial detention centre in Mahiliou. He was livestreaming the meeting on May 5, as well as the solidarity rally near the detention facility where more than 100 people gathered to express their solidarity with arrestee Tsikhanouski.
Meanwhile, another freelance journalist has been detained in the town of Hlybokaye. According to cameraman Leanid Yuryk, three policemen – two plainclothed and one uniformed (major Syarhei Tsyrban)- enjoined Belsat TV contributor Zmitser Lupach that he should follow them. The exact reasons for the detention are not yet known, but a protocol has already been drawn upon the journalist. The trial is to take place on Monday; Lupach will have to spend the upcoming weekend in the police centre.