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28.07.2009

Numerous arrests during Independence Day in Minsk

   

Riot police arrested more than 15 activists of the civic movement “European Belarus” who were planning to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Belarus in the centre of Minsk. They had been planning to hold a flash mob at 7 p.m. on 27 July, with each taking out a copy of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Belarus and starting to read it.  Within minutes they were detained by plain-clothed officers, who took them in police buses to the Minsk Central Police Station.

The Supreme Council of the Belarusian Soviet Republic adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty on July 27, 1990. This important document became the first official step towards Belarus’ independence.  July 27 was proclaimed the Independence Day of Belarus.

On August 25, 1991, the Declaration of State Sovereignty received the status of a constitutional law, on which grounds the Constitution of 1978 was amended. The new Constitution of the Republic of Belarus was adopted on 15 March, 1994.

The official authorities cancelled the holiday after the referendum in 1996 that gave unlimited power to Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Independence Day is now officially marked on 3 July, the day that Minsk was liberated from the Nazis. The democratic community continues to celebrate the Day of Independence on July 27.

From information at www.charter97.org

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