12 November 2019, Tuesday, 17:47
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Minsk riot policemen vs. people with cellphones (Photo, video)

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Minsk riot policemen vs. people with cellphones (Photo, video)

Minskers were arrested only for the fact that alarms at their mobile phones rang at 8 p.m.

On July 13 before another silent protest rally policemen and special services men gathered near its venues.

This time the community “Revolution through social network” called upon Belarusians to take to the streets of their cities and to make alarm of their mobile phones ring at 8 p.m. sharp.

Since 6 p.m. in Minsk force structures men in uniform and in mufti were patrolling entrances of the metro stations Victory Square, Yakub Kolas Square, the Academy of Science. At the parking near the National Academy of Science there was a bus with unknown in mufti and a minibus with people in police uniform. In Akademicheskaya Street a PAZ bus without number plates was parked. There were people in mufti there, and they were playing cards.

Buses were dispersed also on the both sides of Yakub Kolas Square, behind the Palace of Republic. On October Square, near the Palace of Trade Unions, crowd control barriers were piled. Parking of cars from the side of Engels Street was prohibited.

In Independence Avenue a considerable number of law-enforcers could be observed. Short-haired young men were standing near the entrance to Academy of Science metro station near the presidium of the Academy of Science. A policeman with a megaphone was also standing there. In Idependence Square there were very many traffic policemen from Surhanau Street up to Chelyuskintsy Park. They stopped cars and checked IDs. Policemen and people in mufti were also standing near the building of “Agat” joint stock company and “European” supermarket.

Near “Riga” shopping centre policemen were also patrolling. Not far from the building of the Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange and Journalist’s House in Surganov Street there was a bus with policemen.

Security officers were also standing near shopping centres from which it had been planned to start the rally.

At about 8 p.m. BelaPAN journalists, a reporter Zakhar Shcherbakou and a cameraman Pavel Padabed, were detained near Frunzenskaya metro station.

Near “October” cinema those who wanted to watch the last part of Harry Potter epic faced an unexpected problem: policemen recommended them to take a walk in other places of the city.

As a result, several hundreds of silent protest participants marched along the odd-numbered side Independence Avenue towards Yakub Kolas Square. People were walking one by one, or in small groups of two or three, with children, there were some bicyclists. The number of pedestrians on the odd-numbered side of the avenue was much higher than on the opposite side, though there are lots of shops there. People were filmed by KGB man and people in mufti.

At 8 p.m. in Yakub Kolas Square there were several hundreds of people in Yakub Kolas Square. They were sitting on the parapet along a statuary group, on parapets around fountains, all benches were occupied. Some were just walking across the square. A group of policemen in mufti with walkie-talkies could be observed. Ihar Yauseeu (Igor Evseev), the chief of the public security police, was among them. People were videoed. Some of people were with children, some had arrived on bikes. Cars driving along Independence Avenue honked. There were policemen near the metro station entrances.

When alarm in mobile phones rang, people were started to be arrested. Detentions were traditionally harsh, people were dragged on the ground into paddy wagons which arrive speedily.

Riot policemen also detained journalists, hindering their work, were rude, stumbled protesters, and kicked them, their legs. During the arrests photographers and cameramen were prevented from shooting, the shaven-headed hit cameras, snatched them.

Meanwhile cars passing by honked, and songs of Viktor Tsoy were heard from many cars. Mobile phones were working badly.

The criminal actions of policemen and special services were demonstrated by the visit of Alyaksandr Lastouski, the spokesperson of the Interior Affairs Main Directorate, to the square. He could not explain why he appeared on the square so late, after arrests of citizens occurred, and journalists’ were kept from their work.

A journalist of a German TV channel asked a question: who were the people in mufti who had attacked journalists. Lastouski stated that he could not answer that question. One of the citizens asked: “What bandit groupings are acting in the city? They seize people and take in a direction unknown in cars without number plates.” Lastouski answered that there are many policemen in the city, and he cannot know everyone. A BelaPAN correspondent came up to one of the young men with an earpiece and a video camera and asked him whether he was a policeman. He answered: “Are you crazy? Why are you pestering common citizens?”

And after the protest a correspondent of Radio Svaboda Aleg Hruzdzilovich was detained. As he managed to inform, he was arrested in metro, right near the train.