Ukrainian human rights defender detained in Belarus



Prominent human rights defender, Volodymyr Chemerys, has notified journalists that he has been detained in Belarus after coming to Minsk for a human rights conference.  “After the journalists dispersed, police officers detained me and at least 5 Russian nationals, also human rights activists, as well as one Belarusian national”, he recounted. He explained that the police were headed by a man in plain clothes who said that there had been a terrorist act on 11 April in Belarus and it was therefore necessary to check all suspicious individuals.  “Not one charge, however, was presented”, he added.

He told Ukrainska Pravda that he was still in the police station and would probably not be in time to catch the train to Kyiv. “They’ve taken a statement in which I described the whole of today”.

Asked whether they had taken an explanation regarding involvement in the terrorist act, he answered no, that he had described only the presentation.

Volodymyr Chemerys was one of the organizers of Ukraine against Kuchma and is now the Head of the Respublica Institute and an active member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. 

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