Urgent! A reaction from democratic countries is needed to brutal arrests in Maladziechna
Today, 10 March 2017 approximately one thousand citizens gathered in Maladziechna (Minsk region) to protest against the unconstitutional Presidential Decree No. 3, which imposes a tax on the unemployed persons in Belarus, who according to the decree authors do not participate in financing state expenses. The decree has proved very unpopular among Belarusians. In 2016 and 2017 when the decree came into power it provoked mass popular protests.
The Center-Right Coalition in Belarus together with others six other organisations announced a series of peaceful protest marches across the country. Today for the first time after the protest march in Maladziechna, the leaders of the Coalition were brutally arrested and are now held in the police. The court hearings are to take place in the night, most probably in order to convict the politicians, keep them in prison and prevent them from going to the planned marches in Pinsk, Rahatchou and other cities over the coming weekend. The opposition also plans a big march in Minsk on 15 March, the Constitution Day in Belarus.
Vital Rymasheuski (BCD), Anatoly Liabedzka (UCP) , Yuri Hubarevich (“For Freedom” Movement), as well as leader of the Christian-Democratic Movement Volha Kavalkova, journalist Sergei Karalevich and several other persons are now in Maladziechna district police department.
Videos of the arrest of Vital Rymasheuski and Anatoly Liabezka, as well as Zmitser Dashkievich, who was arrested today for the marathon against the unlawful construction in the place of national memorial Kurapaty, can be viewed here http://www.svaboda.org/a/28362589.html
Lukashenka has already announced a moratorium on his own decree. However, a full abolishment of this measure needs to be achieved.
Belarusian Christian Democracy Party, Center-Right Coalition in Belarus are requesting international support in this situation of repressions against the democratic leaders and activists.
Please, forward your inquiries about the arrested politicians to the Ministry of Internal Affairs http://mvd.gov.by/en/main.aspx, Press Service of the President of the Republic of Belarus /http://president.gov.by/en/press_service_en/. The phone numbers of the police department in Maladziechna +375 1767 4-68-34 / 7-11-33.