A new criminal case has been opened against a former political prisoner.
In Minsk, at about 10 am on March 20, the activist and former political prisoner Dzmitry Palienka was detained in his apartment. He is suspected of committing a crime under Article 339, Part 3 of the Criminal Code of Belarus (especially malicious hooliganism). Dzmitry's friend Anastasiya Huseva told HRC Viasna the details of the detention.
“At about 10 am, people with machine guns, dressed in bullet-proof vests and masks, rushed into the apartment. They immediately threw Dzmitry on the floor, face down, and put handcuffs on his hands. Then they smashed out the door to the next room, began to search. They reported that a new criminal case was initiated against Dzmitry for “especially malicious hooliganism,” – she told. The police officers informed that the case is allegedly related to the incident that happened a week ago.
“About a week ago Dzmitry was waiting for his friend on the staircase and a drunk aggressive man started bullying him. He just didn’t like him standing there. He insulted Dzmitry, and then punched him in the face. Then Dzmitry used a pepper spray,” – Anastasiya told the story.
The search of Dzmitry's apartment lasted about an hour. They seized all activist's equipment (computer, mobile phone), literature, leaflets, stickers, etc. They also seized a mobile phone from Anastasiya Huseva, who was at that moment in the apartment. According to the activist, all the attention of the security forces was focused precisely on the literature and other printed materials that were found in Palienka's apartment. All their questions were about this, while they were not particularly interested in the circumstances of the case.
After the search, they took Dzmitry Palienka to the City Police Department-2, from where they will most likely take him to the Investigative Committee.