In Belarus more than a hundred people were detained in the evening on June 19 shares in favor of politicians and activists detained during the presidential election campaign. According to the human rights center “Viasna” in Belarus was taken to the police 80 people, including eight journalists. Among those detained was a minor and a citizen of Russia and the Czech Republic. Several people were beaten.
Detentions also took place in Bobruisk, Gomel, Vitebsk, Mogilev, Molodechno, Novopolotsk, Grodno, Orsha. Among the detainees were journalists of “Radio Liberty”, “Belsat”, Tut.by, “ERB”, Onliner, Reuters – more than 11 people. Some security forces were taken directly during the broadcast. According to Belarusian media, the riot police detained even bystanders.
The detainees began to release from the police Department closer to the morning. In some cases, the police were limited to preventive conversation, others were protocols on participation in an unauthorized mass event, reports “Belsat”.
19 June was the last day of collecting signatures for nomination of presidential candidates. In the second half of the day in cities across the country pickets action groups. People lined up in the “chain of solidarity” in the Central streets, chanting, “Let go”, applauded and waved to passing cars, whose drivers honked in solidarity.
In the venue of the rallies in different cities did not work the mobile Internet, according to Tut.by. Almost immediately in places where the protesters appeared security forces. In Minsk the action was observed by the Deputy Minister of internal Affairs Alexander Barsukov and head of the Minsk militia Ivan Kubrakov.
Around 19:00 police officers began to warn that the action is illegal, and urged the participants to disperse. Then riot police started to push people off the sidewalks. In Minsk was closed several subway stations, on Yakub Kolas square, where people lined up in a chain, did not stop the buses. Around 20:00 the city began mass arrests. According to eyewitnesses, the security forces acted harshly.
On mass detentions responded to the British Embassy and the United States. In the British Embassy of mass detention of journalists and peaceful demonstrators called unacceptable. “The UK urges the government of Belarus to respect the rights to freedom of speech and Assembly, and release all arbitrarily detained”, – said in a Twitter of the Embassy.
The U.S. Embassy in Minsk has urged the Belarusian government to “adhere to its international obligations to respect fundamental freedoms and allow the people of Belarus to freely and peaceably assemble, and to release the detainees”.
Protests began in Belarus after mass arrests of opposition presidential candidates. For participation in pickets for nomination of candidates for one and a half month sentenced about 100 people. Several activists, politicians and bloggers were arrested to 15 days on charges of participating in unauthorized presentations. Against blogger Sergei Tikhanovski, which elections were not allowed, brought criminal case.
May 18, was arrested the former head of Belgazprombank Viktor Babariko – the main opponent of the incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko.
The state control Committee (SCC) stated that Babariko “was the direct organizer of illegal activities, attempted to influence witnesses, to hide the traces of earlier committed crimes and just recently to remove a large sum of money from accounts controlled by him”. Also detained the son of Babariko Edward, head of his campaign headquarters.
June 11 opened a criminal case against current and former employees of the BGB, which Victor Babariko led for 20 years. According to Babariko, in this case, which he regards as an attack on himself and an attempt of political pressure, were detained two dozen people.
The Department of financial investigations of the state control Committee initiated proceedings on six counts: 243 (evasion of taxes and fees in especially large size), 235 (legalization of funds obtained by criminal means), 210 (theft in especially large size), 209 (fraud), 430 (bribe-taking) and 431 (giving a bribe).
The EU urged the Belarusian authorities to release father and son, Babariko from pre-trial detention and to ensure impartial investigation without political pressure, and to refrain from the restrictions on the rights of potential candidates, to avoid arrests of peaceful protesters and immediately release the detained activists.
The Minister of foreign Affairs of Belarus Vladimir Makei told “Kommersant” about the availability of evidence in the case of Belgazprombank, evidence of the Commission of serious financial crimes. “Here, despite the passing of a political campaign, no one will be allowed to violate the law. And there is concrete evidence, by the way, received from European countries, including EU countries, that certain persons were engaged in illegal activities,” said Mackay.
On the platform Change.org a petition demanding the release of Babariko, two days it was signed by over 185 people. “The detention of Victor Babariko is a gross violation of human rights against the Victor Babariko, as well as citizens of the Republic of Belarus, wishing to vote for him in the presidential election of 2020,” – said in the petition.
Require signatories to enforce law and equal opportunities for campaigning of all candidates for the presidency.