19 July 2019, Friday, 16:19
We are in the same boat

Pavel Arakelian: Police’s Actions Were Total Fiasco


The famous musician is thankful to the Minskers who took to the city center on March 25.

The detention of musicians Liavon Volski, Zmitser Vaitsiushkevich, Ihar Varashkevich and Pavel Arakelian has become one of the most notorious events of the Freedom Day-2019.

The website Charter97.org found out the details of the detention from musician Pavel Arakelian.

- We planned to take a walk with my friends, and play our instruments to honor the anniversary of proclamation of the Belarusian People’s Republic. Practically right after we stepped on the pedestrian street, some “person” in civillian clothes approached Liavon Volski. I didn’t hear how he introduced himself.

So he warned us that if we start playing music, it will be regarded as a non-sanctioned action. We discussed it and decided we would play anyway. As the law was violated only in the opinion of these people. Meanwhile, our actions were absolutely within the legal field, according to the Constitution.

After we took the decision to play, a police bus arrived and they took us to the Central district police department.

- How did the police treat you?

- They looked at us as if we were some weird animals. We stood in the yard for about two-two and a half hours. Then they led us in to make protocols.

- Did the policemen know they were detaining famous musicians?

- Those who detained us didn’t. In the police department, they sent ordinary policemen to watch over us, they stood in the cold with us for a couple of hours, shifting from foot to foot. All because they brought in “dangerous musicians-backsliders”. Someone knew Liavon, someone even recognized me, someone – Ihar Varashkevich.

You know, these people came to work in the interior not to detain street musicians and stand with them in the cold.

- Was the detention unexpected for you?

- No, it wasn’t. You know, it’s hard to predict the actions of the “wind-up” people. In such moments, people take not only the decisions that will bring them no good, but even those leading them to a total fiasco. Yesterday’s actions of the police were an absolute fiasco.

I can tell you that we did not rule out it all might end in detention. Moreover, we even took the necessities with us, in case of a possible arrest.

- The people who gathered to hear you playing did not disperse even under the threat of arrest, and continued singing. What feelings did this act caused in you?

- I saw it only after the release. I felt very touched, and the others too. Thank everyone for coming. What a PR action it was! No one has ever advertised me better, let alone for free.


If you like this article, you can support the website Charter97.org:


Shareable URL:



Bank's name: Bank Millennium S.A.

Address: ul. Stanislawa Zaryna, 2A, 02-593, Warszawa

IBAN: PL 97 1160 2202 0000 0002 1671 1123


Name of the account holder: Fundacja “KARTA ‘97”

Purpose/title of payment: Donation for statuary aims

You can contact us by the e-mail charter97@gmail.com