On Tuesday, 25th March, a demonstration in Minsk against the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko resulted in over 100 arrests according to human rights activists. Similar peaceful demonstrations for Belarus have been taking place in different European cities during the previous days, but in Minsk the turnout of events was quite different as the right to free assembly, just to mention one right, is not well seen by Belarusian authorities.
Among the people arrested were two of our participants in the OpenForum Vilnius (14 -16 March): Andrei Liankevich, a professional Belarusian photographer, who also took photos during our event, and Pavel Turchaninov, author of the article “Can Citizenship be taught” which was published already some weeks before. After harsh treatment by the police and spending a night in prison, they were sent to court. Andrei is now conditionally free, having to prove that he works for registered media, and Pavel must pay a 1.000.000 Belarusian Rubel (BYR) fine (about 295 €). Other demonstrators faced a different luck and will have to spend 10 to 15 days in prison. We want to express our support to those who suffered the consequences of expressing their discontent with the current rule in Belarus. As a sign of solidarity, we would like to call upon you to help Pavel pay his fine. All contributions can be transferred to the following bank account:
Subject: Support Pavel Citizens of Europe e.V. Account Nr.: 203845300 Commerzbank Berlin: (BLZ 100 400 00) IBAN: DE 44 100 400 000 203 8453 00 BIC (Band Identification Code): COBADEFF
We will report about the delivery of the money to Pavel Turchaninov in due course. Excess money will be donated to a Belarusian Human Rights group. More information and photos can be seen under the following links http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7313694.stm http://charter97.org/en/news/ http://nn.by/index.php?c=ar&i=16084