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Des centaines de manifestant-es détenues après une vague de répression massive en Biélorussie (en anglais : ABC Biélorussie)

Article published first at https://abc-belarus.org/?p=7750&lang=en

Hundreds protesters detained after massive wave of repressions in Belarus

March 25 was planned by some liberal opposition leaders as the day of
the biggest protest against Lukashenko’s policies this year. The biggest
one on the wave of the recent anti-governmental demonstrations that
started in February this year. It ended with the biggest police
mobilization in years bringing thousands of riot cops to Minsk and
detaining hundreds of people preventively and during the demonstration.
This Saturday capital of Belarus looked like a war zone created by the
police.

Campaign of disinformation

After March 15 the Belarusian government started working with double
energy to bring in as much disinformation as they could : radioactive
load on some plane, car full of explosives coming from Ukraine, old
nationalist organization plotting riots, loads of weapons confiscated
during raids. All of this has bombarded Belarusian society through
governmental media in recent days, creating the atmosphere of terror
from one side, but also the atmosphere of anger in society – “Do the
president and his dogs think that we are so stupid to believe all of
this crap ?!”

However, the absurdity was never a reason to stop for the Belarusian
state propagandists. As well as for Lukashenko who was giving speeches
recently about planned provocations on the 25th and blaming the fifth
column in trying to destabilize situation in the country and at the same
time commenting that he is a big proponent of European values.

In this campaign anarchists were moved to the second role to be replaced
by nationalist organizations “White Legion” from the 90s and a
conservative ‘Youth Front’ that was planning to raise from dead and
start riots on March 25. Cops even hacked the social media account of
one of the former leaders of the “White legion” and started distributing
calls to join the demonstration with arms and start revolution.

Repressions before the demonstration

Lukashenko was trying to remove his opponents from participation in the
protest on March 25 by putting them to jail for short terms. Thus
leaders and rank-and-file activists of liberal and nationalist
opposition landed in jail for 10-15 days for previous actions. Only
several of them managed to stay out. The main figure behind the idea of
the protest on the 25th is Nikolai Statkevich – an authoritarian leader
of the oppositional Belarusian National Congress – disappeared one day
before the demonstration. By the time this article is written there is
no information of his whereabouts.

Apart from that 4 days before the demonstration police around the
country started hunting the remaining activists of the opposition
detaining them and sentencing to 10-15 days in jail for disturbing
public peace. Several members of a paramilitary right-wing group “Vaiar”
were also arrested and now charged with preparation for mass riots
(right now over 30 people are accused under this article (including the
non-existent ‘White Legion’ and possibly anarchists) with clear
falsifications and state media campaign working to create hysteria – for
example airsoft guns were presented as firearms and showels as weapons).

Heads of the state universities informed the students that any person
who takes part in March 25 demonstration will be excluded. Those threats
were made reality for some people who were already detained before. This
strategy is not new and was actively used by the government to kick out
hundreds of students in the last 15 years.

March 23 and 24 was marked by the most intensive police raids in last
years. Cops were breaking the doors of those they wanted to detain. In
several cases fire brigade was called to get inside of the flat. In one
of the situations police started a fire on the stairs of the block
house, called the fire brigade and with help of the fire fighters
managed to get into the flat of the person.

On 24th and 25th raids were also performed in the flats of those who
were already detained before and were by that time in jail. Pending
criminal cases in some situations not connected at all with politics
were used as an excuse. For example raid in the office of an independent
union connected with opposition was officialy performed due to a bank
robbery that happened months before.

Anarchist were part of the target group of repressions. Apart from raids
in empty flats, cops started detaining people they knew somehow
connected with anarchism before. As a result more than 10 people were
arrested on March 24 and sentenced to 10-15 days in jail (no clear
numbers of detainees are available right now).

On March 24 a small group of people have organized gathering of food and
money for those detained on March 15. After half an hour of gathering
police came and detained all the people among whom were several
anarchists, journalists and relatives of the arrested. Journalists were
later released, but 10 people who were detained were sentence to 12-15
days in prison. Among those almost half are anarchists.

By the morning March 25 scattered groups of anarchists were still
planning to join the demonstration. Over 100 people were held in prison
including around 30-40 anarchists.

Day X

Opposition was agitating for March 25 as the turning point of the whole
protest. The Internet was full of calls to join. Opposition media was
creating the atmosphere that revolution is going to happen on this
specific day. Peaceful revolution of course (otherwise Western sponsors
wouldn’t approve).

Police didn’t ignore this mobilization and prepared for the biggest
repression operation of all time. Buses with riot cops and internal
troops (military wing of police department) were mobilized to Minsk.
Cops brought all the toys they managed to buy in last years including
Canadian water cannons, German machine guns, jeeps to ramp the crowd,
communication jammers and dozens of riot vans.

Hours before the demonstration was supposed to start the city center of
Minsk looked like it was under siege by police. People’s identities were
controlled. The gathering square was blocked by hundreds of riot cops.
Metro stations close to the gathering point were blocked, public
transport was not allowed to stop close to the demonstration place.

In spite of all the police people came. The planned time for the
gathering was 14:00, but people started coming earlier and of course
detentions started. One by one riot cops started picking up people and
bringing them to “Autozaks” (belarusian produced riot vans). At that
point a group of anarchists and supporters was detained as well – all in
all 25 people. At least one of the anarchists ended up in the hospital
with head trauma.

After 14:00 more and more people started gathering at the edges of
police lines and in one case group of 1000 people was formed and started
marching through the city center. Police reacted immediately to this and
started detaining people. In next hours about 600 were detained (no
clear numbers are available right now – cops didn’t make any statement
on arrests and the state TV was reporting that everything was fine in
the city).

Later that evening police started releasing detainees, however more than
100 people are still kept in detention.

In the evening solidarity demonstration on 26 was called. 100 people
came to this meeting in the city center. Around 20-30 people were
arrested and are waiting for trial.

The court will start working on Monday and it is clear that people will
get punished for the demonstration with days in jail (police can give
fines without the trials).

Next steps

Lukashenko is making daring steps in his politics – in 2010 the same
steps lead to his isolation from European political scene for over 5
years. This time he is checking how far he can go. So far there are
“concerns” by the European politicians about repressions in the country,
however the further common work with Lukashenko from EU is highly
probable – in the last years Western partners were already closing eyes
on violations of human rights. So it is less likely that new sanctions
against Lukashenko will be introduced.

At the same time repressions of that scale have scared Belarusian
society only for short moment. The economic crisis and hardships of the
population outside of the capital are not going to stop in the near
future. This is making us believe that further growth of the protests is
possible with short moment of decline. The dedication of simple people
yesterday have shown that they want changes and they are not afraid to
go and get it- at least several thousands of people around the country.

*We are calling people for solidarity actions all around the world –
make it visible that your government is working with the Tyrant from
Belarus. Show your support of the Belarusian people and anarchists in
their struggle against dictatorship.*

Apart from that big financial support is required. People are going to
lose their jobs after the protests and we would like to help them at
least for the first moments. Paying for the lawyers and parcels might be
required in case Human Right organization withdraw their support or not
capable of further support of anarchists.

You can transfer money to ABC Belarus :

/paypal/ – belarus_abc riseup.net

/bitcoin/ – 1CcxWEswKjXZgXQCds5KcHfemzrAASVbuv

/Bankverbindung/

Kontoinhaber*inn : VpKK e.V. IBAN : DE 40850205 0000 0361 5700
BIC:BFSWDE33DRE Name of the Bank : Bank für Sozialwirtschaft

Cause : Donation ABC-Belarus

/Don’t feel close to anarchists ? Transfer money to human right
organization :/ https://spring96.org

*ABC-Belarus*

— 
ABC Dresden
https://abcdd.org
abcdd riseup.net


posté le 28 mars 2017 Alerter le collectif de modération à propos de la publication de cet article. Imprimer l'article
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