Mass arrests of observers in Minsk
12:48, — Politics
(updated) The riot police broke into the Jazz hostel and detained 20 observers.
On 24 September couple dozen activists of the youth project “Election Observation: Theory and Practice”, which was observing the elections at the polling stations in the capital, were detained, the human rights center Viasna reports.
Among the detained are the observers Ales Zayats, Anastasiya Matchanka, Karyna Bobryk, Maryia Sliaptsova, Ales Herasimenka and Aleh Ladutska.
The young people managed to tell that the riot police detained them together with the stuff and administration of the Jazz hostel located in Shchadrina street in Minsk.
The observers were put into a paddy wagon and taken to the Central district’s police department, where their fingerprints were taken. Around 15.00 they started to release the observers in groups of 3-5 people.
The young people were observing the elections in the framework of the Election Observation: Theory and Practice (EOTP) project.
The deputy head of the human rights center Viasna Valiantsin Stefanovich commented the mass detentions of observers for charter97.org.
“I don’t know why and what for they were detained. It was an action of frightening. For these young people, who participated in the observation project, – they are EHU students – not to have a desire to come here and observe elections anymore. Another reason for detention – to enrich the database of democratic activists”, - the human right defender said.
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