Young activists detained and held in custody in Minsk


On 23 and 24 July more than ten people were detained in the Belarusian capital, most of them members of the unregistered civic organizations “Youth Front”.

They have been charged with “distributing leaflets with calls to take part in an unsanctioned event” or with “petty hooliganism”, supposedly using foul language which only police officers “heard”.

Several of them received sentences on Tuesday of administrative arrest for 15 or 10 days. The court hearings over the other people are planned for Wednesday.

Activists believe that the authorities are trying to isolate them before 27 July when the democratic forces in Belarus will be marking Independence Day.

On 27 July 1990 the parliament of the then Belarusian SSR adopted a Declaration of Sovereignty. Following the restoration of independence, that day became a national holiday, as Independence Day.

The regime of Aleksandr Lukashenko has moved the official celebrations of Independence Day to 3 July, and persecutes those who attempt to mark 27 July.

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