Today people declared an unofficial day of mourning in honour of 31-year-old Roman Bondarenko, who died yesterday after he was beaten to death by plainclothesmen. At 12 pm, people took to streets of their cities and Changes Square in Minsk with flowers, candles and Roma’s photos to hold minute’s silence.
Lining the capital’s major streets, people formed human chains, while dozens more laid flowers at the site where Roman Bondarenko was attacked by unknown people. Solidarity chains and numerous commemorative actions took place all over the country.
In Gomel, Vitebsk, Grodno, Mogilev, Zhodino, Smorgon, Borisov, Derzhinsk, Lida, Ivye, Bobruisk, Sinyavka and Krasnoe villages and many others. People were standing along roads, near universities, factories and hospitals with white-red-white flags in their hands and portraits of the young man.
Throughout the day, messages of condolence and words of support were coming to Roman Bondarenko’s family and all Belarusians from all around the world. People honoured the memory of Roman in San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Krakow, Warsaw, Gdansk, Frankfurt and other cities.
Witnesses say Bondarenko was detained after scuffling with people in plain clothes who had come to a playground to remove red-and-white ribbons reproducing the colour of a historical flag recently “banned” by authorities. The interior ministry denied responsibility for Bondarenko’s death, saying he was killed during a scuffle with “vigilant civilians”.