Updated at 15:24,15-04-2021

Activist abducted by Belarus police: ‘They said they just wanted to talk’


Zmitser Dashkevich, one of the leaders of Young Front and a former political prisoner, was grabbed and forcefully driven away by plaincloth policemen on Thursday. On this day Dashkevich was about to take part in the action on the occasion of the Day of Belarus’ Military Glory near the Russian Embassy in Minsk.

The activist was taken to Tsentralny District Department of Interior. He was released after spending over 3 hours there. Belsat TV has interviewed Mr Dashkevich:

What happened? What way were they detaining you?

About 16:30 pm I went to the basement and saw a suspicious man sitting on the bench. I thought that must be a KGB officer, but then I supposed it was just my own phobia. But when I came out of the basement, he jumped up to me and showed some ID. I said that I needed to talk to my wife (we have two small children) because I did not know for how much time they would take me – for three hours or, say, three years. He said that I was not allowed to do that, and I had to shout very loudly so that the neighbors could hear and let my wife know that I was grabbed. About 10 people were detaining me. They pit an armlock on me.

I can’t say they were beating me; they just pinned my arms to the sides and literally brought me into the car. In the district department they wanted me to give clarification on the improvised digging trenches near Vetka on 6 September. I refused to speak Russian, and a Belarusian-speaking officer came. I provided some explanations. Then they kept me there for an hour and a half trying to discuss different subjects. Perhaps, they were waiting for the end of the action, for the order to release me.

Did they release you without drawing up a protocol?

Yes, they said they had ‘invited’ me just for having a conversation: “We did not detain you, we just wanted to talk.”

Instead of the picketers near the Russian embassy there were some 30 police officers who detained activists…

All these police operations and detentions have happened for the one and only reason, as well as hoisting the Russian flag by Belarusians at the Paralympics. Lukashenka approves of these steps to demostrate his loyalty to his Moscow masters who support him financially.