Another action of solidarity with opposition prisoners and families of disappeared politicians was held in Minsk on November 16, according to the monthly tradition of the democratic forces. A small scuffle with plainclothes police officers, blocking the building of the Presidential Administration from protesters, happend during the campaign. According to preliminary information, no one was detained.
The action started at 18:00, about 30 people lined up on the Kastrychnitskaya Square with portraits of disappeared politicians in their hands, in particular, portrait of Vaukavysk businessman Nikolai Autukhovich and the banner «Freedom to Autukhovich».
The action was attended by Belarusian politics: Co-Chair of the organizing committee for the creation of the «Belarusian Christian Democracy» Pavel Severinets, the leader of the organizing committee of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (People’s Hramada) and presidential contender Nikolai Statkevich, leaders of the «Youth Front» Dmitry Dashkevich and United Civil Party Anatoly Lebedko, BelaPAN.
There was also a photo of a businessman Andrei Bondarenko, member of the National Committee of the UCP, among the portraits of political prisoners. «We’re experiencing liberalization, during which a man could be easily killed, rotted, and so it’s been reckoned on. Bondarenko is on the periphery, where a man is simply tortured. One, having been once in jail, knows what a Belarusian prison is. This is a Soviet prison,» Anatoly Lebedko said.
At Least a Few People should Be in Jail to Make 9.5 Million Fear, Statkevich
In turn, Nikolai Statkevich noted that only a bad economic situation in the country could make the Belarusian authorities release people, arrested for their civil position. «Available Belarusian economic model is not self-sufficient: we need money, loans. When the wealthy donors, which are, as a rule, democratic countries, raise questions on the principle basis, the political prisoners will be released. But fundamentally the issue will not be solved, because the new ones will be detained. At least a few people so should be in jail to make 9.5 million fear,» a potential presidential candidate says.
Having stood on the square for 20 minutes, the protesters took Engels street and headed to the presidential administration. Plainclothes police officers blocked their path near the theater after Yanka Kupala, where a small scuffle happened. Then, protesters lined up along Engels street, repeatedly shouted the slogans «Freedom to Autukhovich!» and «Live Belarus!» and dispersed.
According to Anatoly Lebedko, the protesters went to the building of the Presidential Administration «intuitively, to pay attention to where the problem is and where its decision is. «Red House is a symbol, a symbol of greatness for some people, but for some people it’s the core of all the negative, existing in the country. The names of investigators may be changed, but the cases will be hidden by tones of dust in the same box, until the appropriate go-ahead is given,» the UCP leader said.