25th of March passed the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of independence of the Belarusian People`s Republic. Narodnaya Hramada is the successor of the Belarusian Socialist movement, which was at the origins of the uprising of the Belarusian People’s Republic, was preparing to celebrate the anniversary. Official authorities have declared “liberalization and belarusization” which was perceived positively by the European audience. But in fact, no changes have occurred.
From the 21st of March the secret police preventively detained leaders of the Belarusian National Congress, who were calling to participate in the peaceful manifestation. Mikola Statkevich, Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu, Yaugen Afnagel, Vyachaslau Siuchyk and others had been arrested. Stanislau Pavlinkovich, vice-chairman of Mahileu region organization of Narodnaya Hramada, was arrested and was detained to the cell with person who has the open form of tuberculosis. The militiamen threatened Stanislau with murder.
On the night of 24th of March to 25th of March, militiamen penetrated into the yard of Statkevich`s family and using the knife cut all the tires on the cars of his wife and hid father. Early in the morning they blocked entrances to the house, where the leader of Narodnaya Hramada lives, with the aim not to allow journalists to communicate with M. Statkevich and then militiamen detained the leader of the Narodnaya Hramada.
25th of March all over Belarus the citizens, who were going to participate in the celebrating the anniversary, were detained. On Yakub Kolas Square in Minsk police detained everyone who was going to manifestation or accidentally appeared there. The total number of detainees – more than 100 people.
Among those detained were elderly people, people with disabilities, journalists, human rights activists and even a priest.
On the courtyard of the district office of internal affairs department, unfortunately, there were no TV or video cameras as well as laws. The policemen did not inform detainees why they were arrested, held them without writing down protocols. Detainees put on the stretch, wrung his hands, beat his head to the wall. Sergey Sparysh, secretary general of the Narodnaya Hramada, refused to stand facing a wall. He was handcuffed and forced to lie down about four hours on the cold ground. Policemen didn`t allow Sergey to turn around, holding his foot on Sergey`s back.
Particular outrage causes the violence against human rights defenders. Militiamen broke out nails and pulled piercing of girls.
Almost all were released from the district office of internal affairs department in the evening. But 6 people – Valentin Trotsky, Sergey Sparysh and Yuri Tatur from Narodnaya Hramada, Andrei Sharenda and Artsyom Chernyak from European Belarus, and the priest Vikenciy – were sent to the Center for Isolation of Delinquents.
Arrests took place even during allowed concert.
Late at night, all the detainees were released under pressure of external circumstances. But a number of activists and ordinary brave citizens are waiting for the trials.
Presidium of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Narodnaya Hramada), demands on the Belarusian authorities to stop political persecution, release all political prisoners, to give proper legal assessment to the illegal deeds of the militiamen and bring all the guilty to justice.
Freedom to political prisoners!
Let live free and independent Belarus!