Accessibility links

Two Belarusian Detainees Reportedly Released

  • RFE/RL's Belarus Service

About 130 other people were detained during protests on March 25 against a controversial unemployment tax.

Reports out of Belarus indicate that two people who were detained on March 21-22 on suspicion of planning illegal protests have been released.

Activist Nina Shydlouskaya told RFE/RL on March 31 that Syarhey Barstok, a former member of the disbanded nationalist Bely Lehiyon (White Legion) organization, was released and has returned home.

The other detainee who was reportedly released has not been identified.

At the same time, Shydlouskaya said five people had been formally charged with "training and preparing to carry out mass riots."

Those charged include Zmitser Dashkevich, leader of the Malady Front (Youth Front) movement; Ivan Kavalchuk, a student at the National Technical University; former student Yauhen Paltarzhytski, Malady Front activist Syarhey Strybulski, and Alyaksey Abramau.

The Belarusian KGB security service could not be reached for comment.

In all 28 people are believed to have been arrested, including former Bely Lehiyon members, members of the Patriyot (Patriot) military club in Babruysk, and members of the Malady Front youth group.

State security agencies claimed that weapons and military equipment -- some of which seemed to be traceable to Ukraine -- were seized in the raids.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said on March 21 a that "fifth column" was trying to destabilize the country and that some of its alleged members had been trained in "camps," probably in Lithuania and Poland.

About 130 other people were detained during protests on March 25 against a controversial unemployment tax.

Activists have been working to establish the identities of all those detained.

With reporting by Belpan and Interfax
XS
SM
MD
LG