18 January 2018, Thursday, 4:42

Uladzimir Yaromenak: I spent three months in custody this year


A Young Front activist has left a detention centre after another term in custody.

Young Front activist Uladzimir Yaromenak and his friends came to Minsk's Independence Square to pour valerian extract onto the statue of Lenin ahead of November 7, which is still celebrated in Belarus as the day of the Bolshevik Revolution. The activists hoped to attract local cats to the statue. Security guards noticed the friends as they were fulfilling their plan. Uladzimir Yaromenak tried to escape, but tripped over a flowerbed, fell to the ground and got detained. The activist told charter97.org:

“Security guards called police. I was taken to the Frunzenski district police department, where a police reports for 'swearing in public' was drawn up. Lieutenant colonel Byahuniu gave false evidence against me at the trial. He didn't detain me, but said I had been swearing.”

Uladzimir Yaromenak says the judge dismissed all his motions:

“I am a normal healthy young man. I am being constantly thrown into custody for 'disorderly conduct' in 2012. A normal person can understand after the third arrest that it's better not to use obscene words. I filed a motion to send me for a psychological evaluation. If I had been found insane, they couldn't have tried me. But if they had found me normal, how could they explain why a normal person constantly swears and goes to jail? The judge dismissed my motion and sentenced me to 15 days in custody.”

After his arrival at the detention centres, all his cell mates received bedclothes, which they hadn't had before. Uladzimir Yaromenak thinks it was done to prevent complaints:

“The detention centre was moved to a another building with better conditions. They have a normal toilet, hot water, rather warm cells. You have your own bed, a blanket, a mattress, a pillow and bedclothes. It's interesting that no one had bedclothes before my arrival. My cell mates received it only when I appeared. Jail staff understood I would have filed complaints if we hadn't had linen. The problem with lighting still exists. You can read, but eyes get tired quickly.”

The Young Front activist doesn't count how many times he was thrown into the detention centre:

“If you have three terms a year, you can count your arrests. But if you are arrested every time when you leave your home or visit a sanctioned rally, you lose count. I've spent in custody approximately three months this year. I cannot say the exact number of days.”