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Members of the Movement For Freedom (MFF) have experienced more than a hundred cases of harassment over five months, including criminal cases, searches, detentions, arrests, fines, beatings by security forces, and calls to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Ihar Salavey (Pinsk)

MFF member Ihar Salavey was detained at his home on September 3. He is charged under Article 293 of the Criminal Code in the case of “mass riots” in Pinsk.

He is being detained at No. 6 Pre-Trial Detention Centre in Baranavichy. He has been recognized as a political prisoner by human rights organizations.

Address for letters: SIZA-6, vul. Brestskaya, 258 “V”, Baranavichy, 225413

Pavel Spiryn (Minsk)

A well-known blogger and MFF member Pavel Spiryn was detained on September 4. According to ‘Viasna’ Human Rights Centre, the case is related to Spiryn’s film ‘The Edge’, which was included in the list of “extremist materials”. The case has been initiated under Part 1 of Article 130 of the Criminal Code (Intentional actions aimed at inciting hostility).

Pavel’s house was searched.

Address for letters: SIZA, vul. Savetskaya, 22"A‘, Zhodzina, 222160

Vitold Ashurak (Biarozauka)

MFF Hrodna Region Coordinator

In September, two secret trials were held, which sentenced Ashurak to two arrests 15 days each under Part 3 of Art 23.34. The second term is due to end on October 19. In total, he has 4 to 8 protocols, and it is unclear how many of them have already been implemented.

Ashurak is a suspect in a criminal case (under Article 342 and 284). As part of this case, he was interrogated by the Investigative Committee, and his house was searched.

He was arrested October 19.

Aliaksandr Ahraytsovich (Minsk)

Ahraytsovich is accused in a criminal case of defamation. The reason was a 2019 video on his ‘Observer’s Diaries’ YouTube channel, where he appealed to members of the election commission with a call not to participate in fraud.

As part of the case, two searches were conducted in his apartment (in June and October), and he was interrogated by the Investigative Committee.

He is currently not under arrest.


Yury Hubarevich

MFF Chairman

In September, he was summoned to the Investigative Committee as a witness in a criminal case of “forcible seizure of power” (concerning the Coordinating Council of the opposition). He was released after two hours of interrogation. He filed an application to initiate a criminal case against Aliaksandr Lukashenka.

In June, he was tried for a picket to collect signatures for himself as a presidential candidate. The court ruled that it was an illegal rally and sentenced the politician to 15 days of arrest. So far, the arrest has not been implemented.

In addition, he received a summons to the police department in August for a similar picket in Shklou. The results of this case are unknown.

Yuri Kazakevich

MFF Brest Region Coordinator

On October 12, a trial was conducted, where Kazakevich was sentenced to a fine of 15 basic unites (about €140).

Khrystafor Zhaliapau

MFF Council member

Zhaliapau conducted a prayer and a personal procession of the Cross on September 20 in memory of the people who perished during the latest peaceful protests. The court found this “an unauthorized mass event” and fined him 7 basic units (about €65) on October 12.

Earlier in September, the court fined Zhaliapau 5 basic units (some €50) for participating in an action.

Illia Dabratvor

Dabratvor was detained at a rally where he worked as a journalist. Protocols on participation in “illegal mass events” and “disobedience to a lawful request of an official” have been drawn up. The court fined him 25 basic units (about €230) on October 12. He was detained in the police department and the detention centre for about a day.

Ales Ramanovich

MFF Pinsk Coordinator

In October, a trial was held under two protocols under Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code. In fact, one of the protocols was made with numerous violations. Ramanovich was fined 10 basic units for one of the protocols, and 30 basic units for another one (40 basic units (some €370) in total).

Ramanovich’s apartment was inspected. The reason was some leaflets calling for participation in the actions, which were found at the other end of the city, and an alleged appeal of some local resident.

In September, police staged a “special operation” to seize 400 copies of Narodnaya Volia (‘The People’s Will’) newspaper, which was handed over to Ramanovich in Minsk for distribution, and himself. He spent the night in the detention centre, and the newspapers has not been returned up to now.

Early this month, he was detained for a day before the trial in the pre-trial detention centre, and the court fined him 20 basic units (about €190).

Yury Meliashkevich (Minsk)

Meliashkevich was detained on August 8 near the notorious detention centre in Akrestsina street and spent several days there. The protocol was delivered to court only in October. The trial took place on October 7. At the trial, the judge sent the case for revision, which means that the persecution of Meliashkevich has stopped due to the expiration of the investigation term.

Alena Kuchynskaya (Orsha)

MFF member Alena Kuchynskaya was dismissed from a kindergarten in Orsha. She took an active part in the rallies in Orsha and came to Minsk for the Women’s Marches and Sunday Marches. She says that other teachers and kindergarteners who took part in the rallies experienced similar persecution in Orsha.

Pavel Batuyeu (Salihorsk)

In October, he was detained during a tea party announced by the Belaruskali Strike Committee in the Four Elements Park in Salihorsk. The participants had no symbols and marched a short walk through the park. The court sentenced him to 10 days in jail.

In September, he was detained at a rally in support of miners. 21 of the 22 detainees were released after a preventive talk in an assembly hall. The detention lasted for about five hours.

Piotr Andriyevich (Malaryta)

Andriyevich was detained at a rally in Brest in October. He felt bad during the detention (his blood pressure rose), and was hospitalized. Now feels better now. No trial was scheduled.

Valery Sliapukhin (Homel)

Sliapukhin was fined 25 basic units (about €230) in October (the trial was held without his participation). In July, he was detained at a rally, where he did not participate, and the court sentenced him to 10 days in jail.

He is being detained October 18.

Uladz Rylka (Hantsavichy)

Unknown persons damaged Rylka’s car probably because a white-red-white ribbon (the national flag’s colours) was behind the windscreen. The damage was quickly rectified thanks to the free help of a car mechanic.

Viktar Kulak (Minsk)

Kulak was sentenced to 10 days of arrest for alleged violation of Article 23.34.

Samir Gulu-Zade Kardash (Baranavichy)

Gulu-Zade Kardash was detained for taking part in a march in Baranavichy on September 27. He was in the detention centre all this time. An ambulance was called for him during the trial; there are suspicions that he was subjected to pressure or violence. He was released on October 7.

Siarhey Pantus (Biarozauka)

In September, Pantus was sentenced under Articles 23.34 and 3 to a fine of 40 basic units (some €370). In August, he and all the passengers of a car were detained on their way to Lida; he spent a day in a pre-trial detention centre and was fined 25 basic units (about €230). What’s more, he was brought and left in the countryside without a phone at nighttime and had to walk home 25 kilometres.

In June, Pantus was detained after a motor rally, spent the night before the trial in a detention centre, and was fined 25 basic units (about €230).

Edvard Dzmukhouski (Hrodna)

In September, Dzmukhouski was detained at a rally, although he worked there as a journalist, and spent a day in a detention centre. It is unknown whether there was a trial.

Anastasiya Kiryk (Minsk)

Kiryk was detained in September. The case was initiated under Part 2 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code (Participation in mass riots), where Kirik is a witness. She was released late in the evening. There are no details of the case, as Kiryk is under a non-disclosure agreement.

Earlier in September, she was detained after a rally, and the court arrested her for 12 days.

Zmitser Ryzhychenka (Navapolatsk)

Ryzhychenka was tried thrice for calling to participate in “illegal mass events” (first, the Chain of Solidarity, and then the post-election protests). One of the trials, which took place shortly before the election, sentenced him to 13 days in jail (he was released early), and two other trials fined him 40 and 10 basic units (about €470 in total).

The following MFF members were called to the Prosecutor’s Office and warned about the inadmissibility of participation in “illegal mass events” and “riots”, as well as joining the Coordinating Council: Barys Anikeyeu (Homel), Zmitser Antonchyk (Shklou), Siarhey Pantus (Biarozauka), Dzmitry Shymanski (Brest, a short detention), Yuri Kazakevich (Baranavichy), and Ales Ramanovich (Pinsk).

Learn about other cases here

Author: Volha Bykouskaya

People: Siarhej Pantus 28 Ігар Салавей 12 Alexander Romanovich 33 Барыс Анікееў 13 Зміцер Антончык 2 Dmitry Szymanski 18 Yury Kazakevich 62 Pavel Batujeu 13 Уладзімір Рылка 2 Edward Dmukhovskyy 13 Алена Кучынская 2 Vitold Ashurak 70 Khrystafor Zhalapau 126 Іllya Dabratvor 22 Дзмітрый Рыжычэнка 5 Dmitry Solovyov 5 Юрась Дзяшук 9 Яўген Глушкоў 2 Aliaksandr Zuchkou 7 Аляксей Дужы 5 Jaroslav Bernikovich 9 Ales Masiuk 24 Artsiom Liava 48 Валянціна Болбат 5 Віктар Яўмеенка 4 Andrey Yurkou 55 Yuri Bakhterev 7 Tatiana Malashenko 12 Uladzimir Niapomniashchykh 28 Уладзімір Шыла 11 Constantine Turchanyak 6 Raman Kislak 112 Leanid Haravy 65 Vital Amialkovich 78 Сяргей Тышкавец 3 Сяргей Карбановіч 4 Павел Спірын 11 Аляксандр Ільінец 3 Yury Hubarevich 962
Tags: harassment 17 arrests 38 fines 36 court 289 political prisoners 213

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