Ukrainian human rights activist unwarrantedly prevented from entering Belarus


During the night from 8 to 9 March Ukrainian national and member of the Regional Initiatives Foundation, Maxim Kytsyuk was unwarrantedly detained while trying to cross the Ukrainian – Belarusian border. Maxim was travelling to Minsk. The Regional Initiatives Foundation is a member of the Committee for International Monitoring of the Human Rights Situation in Belarus, and he had been in Minsk a number of times with a human rights defence purpose.  This time he was also travelling to the International Observance Mission of the Committee as an assistant to a Mission member.

The border guard said that Maxim had been banned entry into Belarus, however the circumstances under which a Ukrainian national was prohibited from entering are not known.

Colleagues have succeeded in contacting Maxim who says that his name proved to be on a list of people banned entry, but there is no explanation as to why. He had his mobile telephone and personal belongings confiscated and was placed in a temporary holding cell.

He says that he was held in a metre by metre cell and not allowed to ring the Ukrainian Consulate.  He adds that after the arrest of a Ukrainian human rights activist , they had an agreement with the Ukrainian Consult that they would be constantly in touch with the Consultation.

His belongings were returned and he was deported back to Ukraine.  

The Committee has grounds for believing that the ban on Maxim’s entering the country was linked with his human rights work.

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