17 January 2018, Wednesday, 0:34

Belarusian activist Ihar Koktysh arrested in Germany


(being updated) The deputy head of the Union for Democracy in Belarus was detained on the request of the Belarusian authorities.

The activist was arrested in the town of Angermünde near Berlin.

Ihar Koktysh said to charter97.org website German police arrested him because the Belarusian authorities had put him on Interpol's wanted list. The activist is at a police station now.

“I can only say that the Belarusian regime uses every opportunity to deceive the law-enforcement system of democratic countries and create problems for the opposition activists who had to leave the country due to repression”, - he said.

According to Ihar Koktysh, the German authorities sent a request to Poland asking to confirm his status of political refugee. The activist will remain in custody until an answer is received. He fears the process can take several days.

A criminal case against Ihar Koktysh was initiated in January 2001. He was accused of killing a relative of his close friend. The activist spent 10 months in a pretrial jail in Baranavichy. The Brest district court found him not guilty in 2001, but prosecutors later appealed against the decision of the court. Ihar Koktysh moved to Ukraine and decided not to return to Belarus. He was detained by local police in Ukraine and placed in a pretrial detention facility in Simferopol on April 25, 2007, for further extradition to Belarus. Amnesty International recognised Ihar Koktysh prisoner of conscience in November 2009. Belarus insisted on his extradition accusing him of killing. Ihar Koktysh denied accusations and said it was revenge of the authorities for his active support of opposition presidential candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich.

Ihar Koktysh was released on a decision of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office and demand of the European Court of Human Rights. The European Court pointed out in its decision of December 10, 2009, that Ukraine violated several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.