3 October 2020 | Infocenter Free Belarus 2020
8:15 am A drop hollows out a stone. A new Saturday morning begins with a small victory for a resident of Novopolotsk.
Having received a letter from the city executive committee warning about a possible fine “for violating the architectural design of the building’s facade,” the resident did not remove the white-red-white flag from his balcony. He wrote his own appeal to the regional executive committee. He explained that the white-red-white flag is not banned in Belarus and meets his “aesthetic ideas about the correct color combination”. He also noted that he does not use the flag at public events and does not hang it from the balcony, but only put it on the wall which is not a violation of the law.
Oddly enough, the regional executive committee listened to the arguments and confirmed that this flag could remain in its place.
8:30 am Tsikhanouskaya’s plans. Sviaetlana Tsikhanouskaya announced her plans on her official channel. She is planning working visits to Germany and Slovakia that include meetings with Angela Merkel and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. She will speak at the Bundestag to the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on European Union Relations.
She will also have meetings with representatives of the main German parties and the Belarusian diaspora. Tsihanouskaya will attend the annual international conference Globsec Bratislava Forum in Bratislava.
“Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is recognized as the winner of the Belarus presidential election. The high-level meetings that she held with leading politicians have resulted in the welcomed resolutions on the situation in Belarus as well as concrete proposals to help our country after the new elections, aimed at stabilizing and development of the economy,” says the statement.
9:30 am Turn a deaf ear to the words to hear.
The Belarusian authorities carry on as if nothing had happened. It was reported in the Panorama issue on the Belarus 1 TV channel that work had begun on updating the Constitution with the participation of the parliamentarians. Moreover, the Belarusian citizens have been invited to send in their proposals. But hurry up! All proposals must be submitted by the end of October.
10:00 am “Release impossible – to wait” or “Release – impossible to wait?”
Amnesty International starts an action to release a human rights and LGBT rights activist Victoria Biran, who was detained on 26 September in Minsk and sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest.
“The terms of detention under similar circumstances have been repeatedly extended, and since Victoria Biran is an activist of the LGBT rights movement, the risk of abuse and brutal treatment in her case is greater than ever. Victoria Biran is a prisoner who should be released immediately, without any conditions,” the statement said.
Anyone wishing to join the Amnesty International action can follow the link. Download, print, sign and send an appropriate appeal to the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Belarus to the postal address or by e-mail.
10:15 am Only Belarusians know how to be in two places at the same time.
Onliner.by published an incredible, but alas, quite a real story. Judging by the report and the protocol drawn up by the police of the Sovetsky District Interiors Department, a Minsk resident Pavel Garavsky took part in an unauthorized rally on the evening of 9 August near the Minsk – Hero City Obelisk. However, according to the evidence submitted in his case to the court, the young man was detained by riot police a few hours earlier in another district of the city, and subsequently received three days of administrative arrest.
Despite the fact that the court came across such a factual error, the judge still failed to recognize Pavel’s innocence and sent the case back for revision.
11:00 am Auto rally against sanctions.
Lukashenko’s supporters will hold the republican rally “For United Belarus” today. Motorists with red and green flags were asked to drive across the country. The rally began at 6:30 am near the border with the Russian Federation, and should end by 1 pm at the Brest airport. In addition to red and green flags, the rally participants are carrying posters with Lukashenko and Putin’s portraits.
12:00 pm Free press behind bars.
Belsat journalists Ales Lyubyanchuk and Dzyanis Goncharenko, detained in Minsk on 24 September, were transferred from the Zhodino pre-trial detention center to the Baranovichi detention center. Earlier, another journalist Alena Daunar was taken there.
After yesterday’s decision on press re-accreditation, there will be NO accredited journalists in Belarus this weekend.
12:20 pm Recommendations are mandatory. Responding to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry’s recommendation yesterday to cut the number of staff of the Polish and Lithuanian embassies in Belarus, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said that Lithuania does not intend to recall its ambassador to Belarus, or to reduce the embassy staff.
Commenting on this statement, the press secretary of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry Anatoly Glaz said that this recommendation is in fact mandatory and not negotiable. “Our suggestions are exclusively within the scope of the sovereignty rights of Belarus, and no one is going to discuss this with the Lithuanian side,” he said.
12:30 pm For Belarus under a USSR flag. Videos from today’s rally “For United Belarus” have appeared on social networks. This is hard to explain, but for some reason the rally participants are displaying the flags of the USSR and the unrecognised Donetsk People Republic.
12:47 pm The editor-in-chief of “Strong News” arrested. “Strong News” founder Pyotr Kuznetsov announced that the newspaper editor-in-chief’s home in Homel has been searched. All electronic devices were taken away.
Anna Yakshtas and her husband Denis, who also works for “Strong News”, were taken to a police station. The children were left at home.
Furthermore, the police department where Anna and Denis were to be taken, according to the security officials, denies that the journalists are there.
1:09 pm Art against totalitarianism. Minsk State Linguistic University students went to protest at the entrance of one of the university buildings again. They sing and recite poetry.
And in Baranavichy, a red-and-white mural with the Borovka district coat-of-arms and quotes from Belarusian classics appeared today.
1:25 pm Defiant flags. In the Minsk residential complex Megapolis, an unknown person was taking off a white-red-white flag attached to the spire of the building. As a result, the flag… blew away. The forces of nature seem to be on the side of the protesters today.
1:46 pm Into the future with the memory of the past. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya visited Kastus Kalinouski’s burial place in Vilnius.
“Kastus Kalinouski’s words “not the people for the government, but the government for the people” are more relevant today than ever. He fought for people’s freedom, and now we are continuing his work. Remember, only together can we build a country for life,” said Tsikhanouskaya.
2:06 PM What is Saturday without police vans? Social networks report that prisoner transporters are again stationed in the centre of Minsk. Military vehicles are moving towards the city again too.
2:18 pm Solidarity actions during football matches.
In Minsk, during the anthem before the start of a national football cup match, many fans turned their backs to the field and put their hands behind their heads.
Another match in the Belarus second league started with the players of both teams, after the referee’s whistle, kicking off but standing still and applauding.
2:23 pm The Department of Internal Affairs confirmed the detention of “Strong News” editor-in-chief.
“They are detained within the framework of an administrative process. Their house was not searched, but their computers were confiscated,” said the official representative of the Homel Region Department of Internal Affairs.
3:24 pm Salihorsk. In the Park of Four Elements, where about 300 protesters gathered, arrests began.
Among the detainees is Yuri Korzun, a miner who chained himself in a mine in protest on 10 September. Just a couple of minutes after the start of the action, riot police arrived and began to detain people. It is reported that Yuri was detained.
Belsat photo correspondent Irina Orekhovskaya was also detained.
3:30 pm An unusual women’s protest action is taking place in Minsk today. Women gather in small groups and walk with flowers in their hands. This format is an alternative to larger group marches that were brutally dispersed by the security forces.
Euroradio reports that people with flowers have already appeared in the Victory Square area. Buses with security forces have been spotted nearby.
Radio Svaboda writes about people with flowers on Lahoysk tract.
3:51 pm Another diplomat resigned from the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. The consul of the Consulate General of Belarus in Bialystok, Mikhail Goltsev, announced his departure after 8 years of service on his Facebook page.
3:53 pm Anna Yakshtas, editor-in-chief of the Homel newspaper “Strong News”, and the newspaper’s correspondent, Denis Yakshstas, who were detained earlier today, remain under arrest. They are charged with an administrative offence. Exactly what offence remains unknown.
3:56 pm ❗️ Denis K., beaten in the temporary detention center at Akrestsina Street, died in an emergency hospital in Minsk today. Denis was admitted to the hospital on 29 September with many fractures and hematomas. The detention center reported that he “fell from the second tier of beds”.
“At the hospital, we were informed that he was able to tell the doctors that he was beaten by the police,” says Denis’s wife.
4:33 pm As the Telegram channel of the strike committee of the CJSC “Belaruskali” reports, eight people were detained in Salihorsk today. Almost all are members of the strike committee.
4:34 pm Something strange is happening on Belarusian television (BT). Earlier, it was reported that the Republic of Poland was called “the former Polish People’s Republic” and Lithuania the “former Soviet republic of Lithuania”, then STV signed Ukraine as “the former Ukrainian SSR”.
4:35 pm Women with flowers continue to walk in the center of Minsk. They are not forming a column or large groups.
There are many police officers: two or three per block along the avenue.
4:53 pm Girls on the streets of Minsk share flowers with each other: Onliner reports that an aged woman approached two young women and asked for flowers. They gave her some. Then the three of them walked, all with flowers, talking together.
Victory Square is cordoned off. People are prevented not only from accessing the eternal flame, but even approaching the renovated monument. Police minibuses continue to patrol the avenue – they have already become very familiar, but they do not bother anyone, at least in the area of the circus and Victory Square.
4:57 pm The Austrian authorities condemned the decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus to change the accreditation rules for foreign journalists working in the country, which led to the termination of the previously issued permits. The Austrian Foreign Ministry announced this on its Twitter page.
5:15 pm Political prisoner Svyatoslav Baranovich was released.
In March 2017, after the “March of the Non-Parasites,” Baranovich protected anarchists from being detained by fighting off Tikhars (police in civilian clothes who brutally beat protesters in Belarus) in a trolleybus. Six months later, he was sentenced to three years in prison.
5:20 pm BSU students and teachers recorded a video message. In it, they spoke out for freedom of speech and against violence. They also condemned the unjust dismissal of university professor Svetlana Volchek for political reasons.
“We will not be silent, but we will speak the truth, we will sing and we will demand justice throughout the country.”
6:14 pm The Belarusian checkpoint in Nevel on the border between Belarus and Ukraine is not operational. According to the Belarusian State Border Committee, this is due to the closure of the checkpoint in Prikladniki on the Ukrainian side. The Ministry says that as soon as the checkpoint on the Ukrainian border is opened, the Belarusian post will start working as well.
6:25 pm The German Foreign Ministry condemned the revocation of accreditation of all foreign journalists in Belarus.
“This is another example of blatant interference in the freedom of the press and freedom of speech,” said their spokesman in Berlin. “In our opinion, this alarming step once again proves that Lukashenko clearly no longer represents the interests of his people or his country.”
The German Foreign Ministry emphasizes that the threat of reducing some foreign missionsc diplomatic presence also confirms Lukashekno’s position: “Anyone who acts in this way is doing so to ensure no one monitors his actions”.
6:40 pm Photographer Iryna Arakhouskaya, who was detained earlier today in Salihorsk, has been released. According to Belsat, the police deleted all of Orekhovskaya’s photographs [from her equipment] and forced her to write an explanatory letter.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists writes that journalist Ksenia Galubovich and cameraman Dmitry Dedok were also detained in Soligorsk today. Currently, there is no contact with Galubovich.
6:45 pm In Salihorsk, all those who are not indifferent have been asked to come to the building of the police station at 7 pm in order to support those who were illegally detained during today’s solidarity march.
7:00 pm More than 100 members of Russian civic organizations and movements have published their collective appeal in support of Belarusians on the Moscow Helsinki Group website.
The signatories to the appeal note that many people in Russia express their solidarity with the Belarusian people, however, unfortunately, they “are not heard either on Russian official TV channels or in the Russian official press: people like us are not allowed a voice”. The activists promised not to be silent if the Russian government attempts to take any action aimed at violating or infringing upon the independence and sovereignty of Belarus.
7:15 pm Journalists Ksenia Galubovich and Dmitry Dedok, who were detained in Salihorsk, have now been released.
7:19 pm In Minsk, a policeman pulled a passenger out of a trolley bus by force because the man was holding a white-red-white flag.
7:25 pm Members of the “Honest Teachers” community recorded a video message in which they talked about what the concept of an “honest teacher” means and why, in their opinion, ideology should be removed from school curriculum. They also described what their dream school of the future would look like.
7:30 pm A demonstration of solidarity with Belarusian athletes took place in St. Petersburg with 11 people participating in the race in the 300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg Park.
7:36 pm A support fund of 2,138,500 US dollars has been collected for those who suffered and lost their jobs due to political repressions. More than 34,500 people have made donations to the fund.
7:50 pm Evening gatherings and celebrations are taking place in many districts of Minsk and other cities around Belarus. Residents sing songs, go out to chat, and drink tea in courtyards and parks in a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere.
8:00 pm Tonight a rock group “Reha” performed a concert in the “Druzhba” residential district.The group’s soloist Andrei Takindang is a Belarusian poet, musician, and TV presenter with Belarusian and French roots.
8:15 pm On 30 September, the UN published a decision made by the UN Human Rights Committee, requiring Belarusian authorities to amend the law on mass gatherings within 180 days, and to ensure “the full exercise of the right to freedom of expression”.
However, officials in Minsk continue to ignore the UN decision and have made no comments on it so far.
8:30 pm Yesterday, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus warned parents they would be prosecuted for bringing underage children to political rallies. Nevertheless, families with children took part in the pro-Lukashenko rally today.
8:45 pm Rock band N.R.M. bassist Pete Pavlov, the author of the song “Tri Cherepakhii” (“Three Turtles”), is performing a concert in the courtyard of the Vivaldi residential complex. The residents left the main entrances to their apartment blocks unlocked before the concert, just in case, but security forces reportedly did not arrive at the performance.
9:45 pm The number of evening concerts, tea parties, and solidarity solidarity chains held throughout Minsk and in many other cities is growing.
10:05 pm TUT.by readers report that vans with “men in black” are seen moving around different parts of the city. The vans have been confirmed around Oktyabrskaya Square, near Pushkinskaya and Kamennaya Gorka metro stations.
10:25 pm The Minsk City Executive Committee Municipal Department of Internal Affairs reported that 11 people had been detained on Saturday in the capital for participating in unauthorized rallies.
10:30 pm Solidarity demonstrations were also held in Hrodna today. The demonstrators were carrying posters with the words “Elena Levchenko, Grodno is with you”, “Azot, we are with you”.