OMON [*riot police] detained the members of the Coordination Council, the confidant of the ex-presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya Olga Kovalkova and the representative of the MZKT strike committee Sergei Dylevsky.
According to the Municipal Department of Internal Affairs of the Minsk City Executive Committee, Kovalkova and Dylevsky were detained within an administrative process. Later it became known that they were accused of illegally organizing strikes.
Meanwhile, at the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant (MZKT), the police detained Aleksandr Lavrinovich, who is a meber of the strike committee of the enterprise, he is also subjected to administrative proceedings.
Today at 11 am, Olga Kovalkova arrived at the entrance of the MZKT to meet and support the workers. A dozen or two people gathered there by this time. Sergei Dylevsky, a member of the MZKT strike committee, came to the meeting too.
Shortly afterwards, a paddy wagon with riot police and people in civilian clothes arrived. They told those gathered that the event was illegal and they were violating public order. The security officers put Sergei and Olga in a paddy wagon and left.
The workers were not detained. Now, as the workers say, there is no one at the checkpoint. Only people in civilian clothes remained. Olga Kovalkova’s lawyer does not yet have any additional information.
At the same time, the guards of the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant (MTZ) detained Alexander Lavrinovich, a member of the MZKT strike committee. He had been reportedly detained within an administrative process as well.
Today he tried to collect signatures for the start of the strike on 25 August near the canteen of the enterprise (before the start of his work shift). He managed to collect six signatures, after which he was asked to go to the office of one of the managers.
“I was detained by the enterprise security officers. They talk to the them now. They are preparing documents possibly about a violation of the rules of the internal order at the enterprise, and possibly for my dismissal,” said Alexander.
He clarifies that last week the MZKT strike committee members tried to hand out leaflets for a secret ballot at the entrance of the enterprise, but the police and representatives of the plant didn’t allow them to do that.
“They said that we have no right to collect signatures, we are breaking the law and that the strike is illegal. But our power itself is illegitimate, so we act as we see fit, but we still try to act within the law,” says the man.