The Belarusian authorities have released Miraslau Lazouski, the last defendant in the so-called ‘armed’ militants case. Apparently, they did not want hard questions to be put during the upcoming PA OSCE session in Minsk.
Lazouski has told reporters about his first impressions and plans for the near future.
Урэшце! Можна дакладна сказаць – Міраслаў Лазоўскі вызвалены! Глядзіце першае інтэрв'ю на волі!
Opublikowany przez Белсат TV Piątek, 30 czerwca 2017
I do not have to report to the police, but I have to be available for them. <…> I signed a non-disclosure agreement criminal matters, I am not allowed to comment on the criminal case at least till I talk to my lawyer. She will explain what such agreement means.
In the beginning, I was charged with preparing for mass riots; then it was changed for Article 28.7 – establishing an illegal armed formation. <…> We never created any armed group.
I did not ask why I was freed. I was very glad that they let me go. They failed to show me any files of my case, they just gave my things back. I was released on my own recognizance. I am still accused of establishing an armed formation.
I hope everything will turn out all right when the case comes to trial <…> If they had any evidence, I would not be standing here with you now.
My lawyer had difficulty obtaining permission to visit me in the KGB prison (Amerykanka). I received many letters, including those from unknown people. I am very grateful for the support.
In Amerykanka, I was put into a one-man cell, then into a three-men one. In Minsk remand prison Nr 1, there are large cells, each may hold up to 26 people. I read a lot of books. I always found something to read In the KGB prison library. I was not bored, but it has few books in Belarusian. We took exercises a lot.
I want to marry my fiancee, I just should ask Svetlana whether she has not changed her mind.
If the director of the publishing house does not mind, I would like to return to my work.
On March 21, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka stated that ‘armed militants trained in Belarus, Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania’ were arrested. According to the Belarusian leader, it is them who planned ‘provocations’ during protest rallies.
On the same day, Miraslau Lazouski, a former leader of the defunct patriotic organization ‘White Legion’ was severely beaten and arrested by plainclothes policemen in Minsk. The police searched the flat, seized sports equipment and even souvenir knives. The Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB) opened a criminal case over allegedly training people for participating in mass riots.
It is noteworthy that unknown people had used the cover of White Legion and posted calls for radical actions during protest rallies before the arrest. They created a Facebook account for Miraslau Lazouski and spread false information. The man knew about the fake profile and denied his involvement in any radical activities.
Years ago, Lazouski was one of the leaders of the Belarusian patriotic organization ‘White Legion’ which participated in street protests of the 1990s. In the 2000s, the organization folded its activities. At the moment of being arrested, Lazouski was the assistant director of Knigazbor publishing house.
About 30 persons – former members of the White Legion, state-authorized sports and military club Patriot, Young Front activists as well as people who are not associated with any organizations, landed up in jail after Lukashenka’s words about ‘armed militants’ posing a threat to Belarus.