The leader of the democratic forces of Belarus Alyaksandr Milinkevich has told to the Charter’97 press center: “I am not an adherer of radical actions, but the Belarusian authorities bear full responsibility for cruel beating up of the peaceful protesters. There were no grounds for using beastly cruelty against peaceful protesters, for arresting and brutally beating the presidential candidate Kazulin”.
“It’s an obvious provocation of the authorities. They have declared that even before the elections. Interior Minister Navumau said at a press conference that explosions and victims are expected among demonstrators. Now we have seen that. The Belarusian authorities, and namely Lukashenka and his power ministers bear the blame for all today’s events. Today the regime has used unprecedented cruelty against peaceful people,” told the well-known human rights watchdog, the leader of the human rights center Viasna Ales Byalatski to the Charter’97 press center, commenting on brutal disbanding of the peaceful demonstration on Freedom Day.
On March 25 three persons were injured in clashes of demonstrators and police, the head doctor of Minsk Viktar Seranko said. As said by him, the BelaPAN informs, one of the injured was taken to the 4th Minsk hospital.
“Rough falsifications of the election outcome, mass detentions of citizens, barefaced lie of the Belarusian television made people come out to the streets today, despite threats and fears that many of them still had in their souls. The detentions and unmerciful assaults of the people will not stay unpunished. The people are revolted with the violence, families are agitated and previously apolitical citizens now became defenders of their relatives and friends. I would like to emphasize: if Putin stands behind Lukashenka’s back, he must be charged and excluded from the G8,” - well-known human rights defender, deputy chairperson of the United Civil Party Ludzmila Graznova commented to the Charter’97 press-center on the dispersal of the peaceful demonstration, March 25.
Presumably Aliaksandr Kazulin is detained in the special distribution center of the Chief Interior Department of the Minsk City Executive Committee in Akrestsina Street. The Home Ministry neither confirms nor refutes the information. A.Kazulin’s press-secretary Nina Shydlouskaya reported to “Interfax” that “the information according to which Kazulin was delivered to Akrestsina Street wasn’t confirmed in any Minsk RUVD.”
“Today I’ve started the day visiting the special distribution center in Akrestsina Street, where my son, arrested for 10 days, has been kept since yesterday. Since Stalin epoch, never in the history has such a huge number of Belarusians observed the Day of Will behind bars. And I shall say that today their hearts have been beating together with the hearts of dozens of thousands of people who came out to the streets of Minsk to say NO to the regime, that gradually deprives us of our language, national symbols, school, independent media - and now it is taking our children from us. I was in the court yesterday, when my son was tried. Long ago did our courts turn into a scorn of justice. My soul was agitated by what I saw in the court - beaten faces everywhere. I found out, the detained people hadn’t been given food since the moment of arrest; they weren’t even allowed to drink. And in court, my son wasn’t let to have a gulp of water; they barred me from passing a toothbrush and drugs for him. Yesterday not a single parcel was passed in Akrestsina Street. Today they have started accepting it - perhaps, due to the pressure by the world community. But today the powers have shown their weakness and hysteria. Thousands of armed people were led out against the demonstrators instead of allowing the peaceful demonstration. Grenades were exploding, there are injured and perhaps, God forbid, dead. Nevertheless, Belarus has proved the will for freedom hasn’t been suppressed. It was during these days that thousands of people came out and claimed their national, civil, human dignity. I’m sure the recent week is to go down in the Belarusian modern history. I’m sure Belarus will be different after these events. But now much depends on our politicians - whether they can overcome all discrepancies and unite in the name of the primary concern - the future of the European democratic Belarus,” - well-known writer, historian Uladzimir Arlou told Charter’97 press-center commenting on the events of March 25.
Syarhei Atroshchanka, a protester brutally beaten up by police today during disband of a peaceful rally, is placed to the 4th hospital in Minsk in grave condition. Doctors refuse to give journalists and human rights activists any additional information.
At present the Belarusian opposition leader is at large. His press-secretary Paval Mazheika was arrested today while transferring equipment from the rally held in Yanka Kupala public garden. A.Milinkevich went to the Kastrychnitski ROVD to settle it down and soon the press-secretary was exonerated.
As a result of the brutal disband of the peaceful demonstration in the center of Minsk against rigged election dozens are gravely injured, roughly beaten up and several reportedly killed. Special means were applied against demonstrators - smoke-grenades and noise-making explosives, teargas. Bleeding protesters were carried away in stretchers; hundreds are arrested and taken in police buses to unknown location. The candidate for presidency Alyaxandr Kazulin is arrested. SWAT commander Dzmitry Paulichenka was in command of the sweep. He is suspected of implication in assassinations and forcible abductions of opposition leaders and a reporter by the world community.
Pavel Sheremet has just informed “Belorusskiy Partizan” that he is under escort in Minsk 2nd hospital. There are 4 people near the ward - two in uniform and two in muftis; they are most likely to be KGB officers. Pavel told Special Forces officers had detained him in the street, not in the crowd. He was put into a car and handcuffed; his face was tied with a band. In the car, Pavel was beaten and threaten to be driven to forest. But ultimately he was delivered to the Central ROVD.
A killed or gravely injured young man, trampled underfoot by riot policemen, has just been seen by the whole world. CNN and Euronews channels have broadcast reporting about disband and possible assassination in the district of the bridge and Musical Comedy Theatre. It was demonstrated how smoke-grenades and noise-making explosives were used by police, how the army (not policemen) are breaking the lien of demonstrators, how people are trying to run away from the gas, and climbing a hill, the AFN informs.
The AFN informs, as said by witnesses: “The scull of the dead young man was broken by a club. He fell and riot policemen simply trampled on him. Now the Belarusian TV is invited, to film that the demonstrators have simply tromped to death on their own supporter.
Policemen continue to beat up people. Riot policemen and SWAT tear off people from the crowd one by one and club them till their faces bleed. Then people are thrown to paddy wagons and police buses and taken into unknown location. The slaughter is under command of SWAT commander Dzmitry Paulichenka, suspected of abductions and assassinations of opposition leaders by international community.
Peaceful demonstrators are attacked by smoke-granades and noise-making explosives, sirens are producing huge amount of noise. Teargas is blown in the air on the streets leading to Aktestsin str. People use pavements on both sides of the Myasnikou str. which is the route to the Akrestina prison. Panic seizes people. Special police is slaughting people. Again commander of the Special Police Really Dzmitry Paulichenka kicked the former rector of The Belarusian state University Alexander Kîzulin. Bleeding man lies unconscious behind cordons.
Participants of the meeting demand to release all political prisoners, arrested previously. The presidential candidate, former BSU rector Alyaksandr Kazulin, called upon the people to march to the special detention center in Akrestsin Street after the meeting. Protesters are scanning: “Freedom!”
In Yanka Kupala Park the meeting continues. More than 10,000 Belarusians are taking part in it. The leader of the Belarusian Popular Front party Vintsuk Vyachorka has addressed the meeting and read the address of the Chairperson of the Belarusian People’s Republic Ivonka Survilla.
Alyaksandr Milinkevich has announced that the Belarusian National Liberation Movement is created. It is to fight for Freedom, Truth, and Justice. This movement is to unite all democratic forces of Belarus. “We shall fight for free elections, without Lukashenka! By rigging elections results, the regime neared its end. We are winning! We are the majority. The dictatorship will fall down. It fears truth. We are free people. The Belarusians are a free nation. We shall win, as truth, law and justice are at our side!”
A filming crew of the state Belarusian TV channel "professionals" that has arrived to picture the meeting in the Yanka Kupala Park is pelted with snowballs. Participants of the peaceful protest chant in unison "Disgrace on Belarusian TV!" and drive them out of the park.
10,000 demonstrators under white-red-white flags are gathering to Yanka Kupala Park from different parts of the city. All passing cars give honks as a sign of solidarity with protesters. People are chanting in unison: “Long live Belarus!”, “Freedom Now!”
From 3 to 5 thousands of people are marching along Kamsamolskaya and Internatsyyanalnaya Streets in the direction of Yanka Kupala Park. Almost the same number of people is moving passing through Nyamiha Street.
Protesters are moving towards Svaboda Square (Freedom Square). The square is cordoned off by hundreds of policemen as well. People are rounding Freedom Square, and via Nyamiha Street moving towards Yanka Kupala Park, where Alyaksandr Milinkevich is now.
Lenin Street is closed to traffic starting from Freedom Square. It is impossible to come to October Square from the side of the Palace of Trade Unions. People are clubbed and kicked; they are driven out from Skaryna Avenue. A sound of police siren is heard.
At least 2,000 policemen and riot policemen have gathered on the central avenue of Minsk. They have helmets and truncheons. Now they are approaching the protesters. Riot policemen have blocked the traffic on Skaryna Avenue.
The center of the city is flooded with police, riot police and SWAT. Special police forces are organized in seal off against protesters. About 1000 of policemen continue to cordon demonstrators at the Skaryna Avenue (Independence) and impede them to move.
People are marching along Skaryna (Independency) Avenue to October Square. They are holding national flags, flags with the icon of Our Lady of Minsk, flags of the youth resistance movement Zubr. People are chanting in unison: “Long live Belarus!”, “We want Freedom!” Part of the protesters are still standing on Lenin Street. They cannot join the column as the passage is cordoned off by policemen and riot policemen.
Demonstrators unfurled a huge streamer: “Freedom to political prisoners!” They start to read the names of Belarusian political prisoners through megaphone. Policemen continue to block off the passage along the avenue.
Skaryna Avenue is closed to traffic from Lenin Street to October Square. The subway crossing is blocked. Hundreds of policemen and riot policemen are brutally pushing the protesters from the avenue. They are shouting: “Long live Belarus!”, “We want Freedom!”
More than a thousand of people have gathered on Skaryna Avenue. They are surrounded by riot police cordons. People have come with flowers and national white-red-white flags. They are scanning: “Freedom!” Riot policemen push off the protesters from the avenue.
Policemen and riot policemen have cordoned off October Square. The passage at Skaryna (Independence) Avenue is blocked by special barriers. The square is filled with trucks and dumping trucks, which are allegedly busy with cleaning the snow. However, people are gathering in the avenue by the Tsentral supermarket. Now several hundreds of people are standing there scanning: “Police is with the people”.