20-year-old musician Ivan Pireiko was sentenced to 15 days of arrest for picketing. His guitar, microphone and stand were also seized. This was reported by the deregistered human rights centre Vesna.
The musician was detained on 2 April in the passage at the Kamennaya Gorka metro station, where he sang songs with a guitar as part of the Peshehodka project. The police officers became interested in the musician after the call of the “concerned citizen”, who said that “three people are singing political songs.”
From the police report, it follows that songs were played in the Belarusian language, in which the 100th anniversary of the Belarusian People’s Republic was glorified and the expression “we are the best people” was used. The “concerned citizen” considered that Ivan Pireiko’s songs “calls for rebellion”.
The police drew up a report against him under Part 1 of Art. 24.23 “for picketing with the help of songs'”. A police witness in court claimed that the musician was detained after a song about the Belarusian People’s Republic and the words “we are the best people.”
Ivan Kireiko pleaded not guilty. He explained that he only learned about the centenary of the Belarusian People’s Republic in a detention centre. In the cell, he was told that the date was celebrated about three years ago.
In court, the musician said that he sang songs in English, Russian and Belarusian, and he was detained when he sang a song by Max Korzh. Ivan asked the judge not to sentence him to arrest since he is ill and must undergo treatment.
Judge Maria Erokhina made a decision — 15 days of administrative arrest, and also had his guitar, microphone and stand confiscated.