17 January 2018, Wednesday, 14:05

BCD activist from Navapolatsk persecuted by secret services

An opposition activist found his car damaged ahead of the founding meeting of the Young Christian Democrats.

Unknown people also visited his father at work. “They asked if they should imprison me,” the activist told Viasna human rights centre.

The Young Democratic Democrats held a founding meeting in Minsk on November 3. A delegate from Navapolatsk, Syarhei Malashenak, says: “I found two tyres of my car punctured. I filed a complaint to the police. They said it's the work of my enemies. I don't have personal enemies. The aim of the people who damaged my car was obvious – to prevent me from visiting the meeting.”

There was another case, which Syarhei Malashenak finds suspicious: “Some people visited my father at work. They asked if he knew what I did. They are strange: I am almost 30, I almost don't talk to my father. It is impossible to influence me in such a way. They can only upset the father. He said they had asked if I should be imprisoned. 'You are asking as if something depended on me,' he answered to them.”

Syarhei Malashenak attracted interest of the local police on October 8, when he tried to hang out a banner “Freedom for political prisoners” in Navapolatsk. Policemen took him to a police station and  then to a court. The activist was found guilty of holding an unsanctioned mass event and fined three basic units (300,000 basic rubles). He tried to appeal against the court decision, but the court of the Vitebsk region dismissed his appeal.