Belarusian opposition activist detained for “begging”
Valery Shchukin was detained by police while seeking money to pay a fine. The court had previously imposed a fine of 250 thousand Belarusian roubles (around 117 USD) as moral compensation to the Vitebsk District Electoral Commission which the activist had accused of vote rigging.
It is reported that Shchukin stood on a railway bridge with a sign saying: “Help for 65-year-old pensioner Valery Shchukin to pay 37-year-old Tatyana Buyevych for moral damages”. By the time he was stopped by the police, he had raised only 1,2 thousand roubles (around 50 cents)/ Two hours later he was released and allowed to stand with an outstretched hand but with no sign. Shchukin promises to now collect money near the home of the said member of the electoral commission. He also intends to appeal against the ruling which he considers unjust.