Youth pressure group leader Vinahradau released


The activist was welcomed by some 15 people, including journalists and several 'VIPs': Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu, Andrei Dzmitryeu and Zmicier and Nasta Dashkevich. The police were present in bigger numbers (twofold), when Pavel walked out several minutes earlier than scheduled. Almost immediately, he started to share his plans about protests actions during the forthcoming world ice hockey championships.

“Judging by the situation, if everything works out well, I will try to go to the other city where my dad lives. If I don't, I will most likely be here (he is nodding towards the detention center's building). Most likely, that's what will happen, because they are going to extend the police preventice supervision period for me. At least, this is what Mr Luzhynski, the cheif of corrections inspection, promised me.”

Technically, the police preventive supervision term for Vinahradau is to end on April 25. After that, he will be allowed to return home later than 2000 as well as travel freely around the country and abroad. Vinahradau will not have to report to the police station. In fact, he got his 25 days of arrest right after his last visit to check in with the police. It came as a surprise, because he would normally be sentenced to 15 days in jail.

“If I am not mistaken, someone from among political prisoners received 25 days of arrest. I can't even remember now who was that... I have thus become No 2.”

Vinahradau says that most of his inmates had much lesser terms yet they had not been charged for public swearing. (Pavel had been found guilty of disobedience to the police and swearing in public places). His inmates were mostly convicted for theft or hooliganizm. Pavel cannot explain why he was given a longer term. He says he cannot come up with some logical explanation: “Someone in the top decided that I should sit 25 days instead of 15, so the judged ruled 25 days in jail.”

Pavel also has some positive news to share. For almost one month in jail he managed to brush up his spoken English through befreinding former FC Dnepr Mahilou forward Madiba Sidibe who is locked waiting for deportation to his native Niger. He also improved his French when was sharing his cell with a black man from an unknown country.

By and large, the jail is becoming more and more comfortable in the renovated detention center. One can even gail weight now that food parcels (up to 5 kg every third day) are allowed.

Pavel Vinahradau and his wife Sviatlana