A resident of the Pirs residential complex, who refused to remove a white-red-white flag from his balcony was detained. Before that, his car was impounded and electricity turned off. The deregistered human rights centre Vesna reports.
According to reports, programmer Ilya Kvachenko was subpoenaed to a police department, where he was detained and will be kept pending trial. Apparently, a report was drawn up against him for unauthorized picketing in accordance with Article 24.23 of the recently updated Administrative Code.
Recall that on Tuesday, 2 March, numerous white-red-white flags appeared on their balconies of people living in the Pirs residential quarter. However, by the time the security forces arrived, the only flag left hanging was Ilya’s. The man refused to take it off, and a few hours later a tow truck drove up to the building and towed his car.
One of the witnesses said: “This apartment stoically struggled alone. The unknown people did not get inside, they were sitting in a car outside. Our district police officer was also there. The tenants did not open the door. Around ten in the evening a tow truck arrived. Residents, about 30-40 people, went out into the courtyard, some just ran out in nighties. They ignored our questions about what was happening. They filmed us with built-in cameras and we filmed them on our phones in response.”
Another resident said that the car was eventually taken away at 11.44 pm. The car was parked in a parking space belonging to the owners of the apartment who refused to take the flag off.“We called the police, said that the traffic police officers did not introduce themselves, their badges were turned over, but no one reacted to the call.”
The next day, the confrontation continued. In the morning, in the vestibule of the apartment where Ilya lives, they turned off the light, knocked on the door and asked him to go with them to a police station. Later, an aerial ladder truck drove to the building, and the man had to take off the flag. It is expected that the trial will take place on Friday, 5 March.
Recall that law enforcers in Belarus consider displaying unregistered symbols in windows and on balconies as picketing, “for which administrative liability is envisaged.”