Young Belarusian charged with bad language or with advertising Radio Liberty?


18-year-old Belarusian activist Yladzimir Shulzhytsky is awaiting trial supposedly for using “obscenities”. He asserts that the real reason is that he advertised the Belarusian Service of Radio Svoboda.

Shulzhytsky, acting on his own initiative, printed out the times for broadcasts on Radio Svoboda and distributed them to people’s letterboxes in his city of Smorhoni. He also gave his own mobile number in case people couldn’t find the station.

This was used by the authorities who set the young activist up, arranging a meeting which proved to be with police officers.  According to Shulzhytsky, they claimed they were looking for a robber, took him to the police station where they read him a detention protocol – for using obscenities.

There is no alternative in Belarus

“I simply saw no other alternative, but to give people a chance to receive truthful information. I think that Radio Svoboda is a democratic media outlet, and it alone is capable of countering State propaganda”, Shulzhytsky explains.

The president of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty has condemned the arrest and charges laid against the Belarusian activist.

“Chernobyl Way” – new arrests

Yladzimir Shulzhytsky has no intention of being cowered. On 26 April he cycled the forty kilometres from Smorhoni to Minsk to take part in the protest action “Chernobyl Way”.

After the march by opposition forces to mark the anniversary of the Chernobyl Disaster, a special unit of the Belarusian police beat demonstrators and detained several dozen participants. Those detained were soon released, however opposition figures believe they may be taken to court.

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