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Anarchists describe their arrests: “I will give you a falafel if you sign it”

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Yauhen Chulitski, Zmitser Paliyenka and Nasta Huseva

Minsk anarchists Zmitser Paliyenka, Yauhen Chulitski and Nasta Huseva were detained on the morning of January 21. They are suspected of having painted an anti-police graffiti in Partyzanski Avenue, Minsk. A criminal case has bene started against them (article 341 of the Criminal Code – blighting buildings and damaging property).

The young people were let off 72 hours later. They have described the events to Euroradio.

Arrest

Somebody knocked on Zmitser Paliyenka’s (former political prisoner) door at about 8 a.m. on January 21. He refused to open the door and the people threatened to batter it down. As soon as the door was opened, armed people in flak jackets entered the flat. It resembled a low-budget film.

“As soon as they entered the flat they started shouting. They ordered us to lie down on the floor, put our hands behind our backs and so on,” Paliyenka said. “It did not scare me and I asked them who they were and what they were doing in the flat. It turned out that they were from the criminal investigation department. They told me and Nasta Huseva (she was in the flat) to prepare for our arrest.”  

The police also visited anarchist Yauhen Chulitski at 9 a.m. They followed Yauhen’s mother who lived in the same flat. Yauhen was woken up by a stranger who turned out to be a policeman.

Searches

The flat was searched. His mother tried rebuking the policemen since they were disrespectful: they were throwing their belongings on the floor and breaking the furniture.

All of the young man’s gadgets and computers were confiscated. The policemen took away even his old phones that were not working. Yauhen was handcuffed in the entrance hall.

Paliyenka’s flat was searched after he and Huseva had been taken to a police office:

“Even the walls were damaged, not to mentioned the wardrobe and sofa. It was a real chaos. It looked as if a hurricane had ripped through the flat. I spent a few hours cleaning the rooms. Some of the things could not be repaired.

A lot of things that had nothing to do with the criminal case have been confiscated – banners and letters to prisoners. I do not understand why they did it. Above all, my money has disappeared from my wallet – 370 roubels and 100 dollars. I am going to lodge a complaint to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.”

Only Huseva’s room has not been searched – she lives in a hostel.

“I will make you jump on a bottle!”

“The adventures” continued in the detention centre in Akrestsina Street.

“When they were taking Hasta and me to Anharskaya Street, there was no seat for me for some reason. I had to stand on my knees with my head down all the time. As soon as I tried to move or sit down I got slightly kicked and they also threatened me: 'We will pee on your head!' or 'I will make you jump on a bottle!' I tried not to provoke them.”

The young people stayed in the city police department in Anharskaya Street until the evening. Huseva was not allowed to go to the toilet and had to relive herself in in the prison cell, she said. She had a headache and asked for a pill but nobody reacted to her request.

Finally, the detained were taken to Akreststina Street. The anarchists had to spend a few hours in the police van while the policemen were gathering other detainees from all over the city.

Royal falafel

The anarchists spent two days being interrogated at the Investigation Committee. They were put in different corners of the room and were made to stand like this for 3-4 hours.

“It was laughable. The investigator told me: ‘Dima, how about signing the repentance papers? I will buy you two royal falafels if you do.’ Of course I laughed at it,” Paliyenka said. “I refused to talk to the investigators, I did not say anything at all.”

Huseva did the same. Yauhen Chulitski said that he had nothing to do with the graffiti and noted that there were people who could confirm that he did not do it.

Linguistic expertise

The text used in the graffiti was analysed by linguistic experts, Paliyenka said:

“It is strange that the experts analysed whether the text was arousing hatred to a social group (employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs) and personal hatred to Ihar Shunevich. His name was mentioned there [in the text]. This is not funny since nobody knows how they will use it. According to article 341, we cannot be jailed for more than 3 months and we will most likely be fined instead of getting imprisoned. However, the article can be changed.”

The European Games appointed for the summer and the future presidential and parliamentary elections are the reason for the pressure, the anarchists believe. When asked if they were feeling guilty about the deed, all of them kept replying that they would not say anything. Even if they had painted that graffiti, they would not feel guilty now since everything that was written in true, they added. 

 

Больш важных і цікавых навінаў у праграме "Петарда" 28.01: