Courts continue to crack down on Belarusians; journalists spoke about terrible prison conditions; the Swiss Foreign Ministry summoned the Ambassador of Belarus in connection with the arrest of Luzia
Tschirky; the most famous Belarusian gymnast Melitina Staniouta launched a white-red-white challenge
1 February 2021 | Voice of Belarus
Belarusian journalists spoke about prisoners’ terrible detention conditions, while a Swiss journalist is outraged by what is happening in Belarus
The Moscow correspondent of SRF, the Swiss television and radio company, Luzia Tschirky was detained on 31 January on her way to a cafe, then spent several hours in a Minsk police station and called the incident “pure lawlessness”.
The Swiss Foreign Ministry said on Twitter that the Belarusian ambassador, Aliaksandr Hanevich, was summoned in connection with the incident with Tschirky.
At the same time, Belarusian journalists, as a rule, are not released as quickly.
TUT.BY journalist Nadzeya Kalinina spent three days in a detention facility for wanting to attend an event for the selection of delegates for the All Belarusian People’s Assembly. Now, she is accused of picketing. She spent two nights on the floor in a crowded cell and was not allowed to receive any packages. Nadzeya was released only because the 72–hour detention period had ended, and the court sent her case back for revision.
Cruel judicial crackdown against Belarusians, including the disabled, continues
Trials took place over the six retirees who were arrested by the police on 29 January in Minsk. They were accused of illegal picketing. As a result, five of them received 15 days of detention, and one of the women was fined. Their ages range between 58 and 68 years; two have disabilities, and one is in cancer remission.
Aksana Mankevich, a tour guide who was detained on 31 January, received 15 days of detention. She was on a tour with a group of tourists in the historical center of Minsk when she was arrested. The police arrested both the guide and the tourists.
The court in Zhlobin passed a sentence in the case of the strike at the Belarusian Metallurgical Plant that took place in August 2020. One of the accused received a three-year prison sentence, while the other two received two and a half years each. The factory workers were found guilty of disrupting the steel smelting process on 17 August 2020 as a result of their actions. Even before the trial, they had compensated the company for financial damage in the amount of 1,088 Belarusian rubles (about 340 euros).
A 23-year-old Minsk resident received three years of imprisonment for standing in the front rows of a human chain [a type of defense against being grabbed by the security forces] on 14 July 2020, shouting slogans, and kicking two riot policemen on the arm and on the head during the clashes.
Trials took place against the instructors of the Belarusian State University who were detained on the day Lukashenko visited the university. Two of them were sentenced to 14 and 15 days of detention for disobedience; the third one was given 25 days of detention.
A Belarusian gymnast launched a challenge in response to the government idea of recognizing Belarusian national symbols as extremist
Melitina Staniouta, a gymnastics champion, reacted emotionally to the statement [by the Prosecutor General’s Office] that the white-red-white flag and other national symbols could be recognized as extremist. Staniouta later launched a white-red-white challenge on Instagram. Staniouta proposed to upload photos of yourself, your friends, or pets dressed in red against a snowy background. Belarusians quickly picked up on this idea
and began to post pictures in these colors.
For more information on the events of 1 February 2021, please visit Infocenter Free Belarus 2020: