18 January 2018, Thursday, 14:40

Investigatory Committee appeals to punish Bobr official for destroying ‘Pahonia’

Acting chairman of Bobr municipal council Zagorski violated several articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus at once.

The chairman of Belarusian Voluntary Association for Protection of Cultural and Historical Memorials Anton Astapovich addressed the Investigatory Committee’s department for Minsk region with an appeal to bring criminal charges against him, BelaPAN reports.

On the Freedom Day celebrations on 25 March in the Bobr settlement the local artist Ales Pushkin draws the ‘Freedom’ picture every year on the central square. He kept working this year as well. He was approached by the acting chairman of the local council Uladzimir Zagorski and tried to take away the picture. As he did not succeed, he tore away the ‘Pahonia’ coat of arms, attached to the picture, broke it and left. This was all witnessed by journalists, who later posted video on the Internet.

Astapovich believes that Zagorski violated several articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus at once: desecration of a historical and cultural value and power abuse.

On the day after the incident Astapovich appealed to the Investigatory Committee asking to hold an inspection followed by bringing charges.

In his appeal Astapovich emphasized that the ‘Pahonia’ coat of arms is an immaterial historical and cultural value, which is included in the State List of Historical and Cultural Values. He refers to separate articles of the law “On the protection of historical and cultural heritage”, which read that “creating obstacles to the existence, development and passing to descendants of immaterial historical and cultural values” is forbidden, and obliges local councils contribute to “holding events aimed at preserving and recreating historical and cultural values”.