2009 07/09

The government, like last year, tried to disrupt the bard festival “Orsha Battle”. Some people who wanted to get on the Krapivenskaye field on 5 September were taken out of Orsha by the policemen in a paddy wagon.

As reported by “Radio Svaboda”, the first clashes of the policemen with people who wanted to visit the bard festival began in Orsha bus and rail stations. Near the buses that went to the village Gatskauschyna, where the festival “Orsha Battle” takes place since 1991, the policemen initially copied passport information for all those who looked like potential participants. Among the first the policemen detained the participants of the festival “Orsha Battle 2009”, Paulina Stsepanenka, Viktar Tretsyakou, Larysa Shchyrakova and Ales Kazhamyaka.

Traffic policemen were on duty at each intersection along the highway from Orsha to the village Gatskauschyna. They said that they found a mine on the bank of Krapivenka. Like in past years, mines “are found” right on the eve of the anniversary of the victory of the army of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania over Moscow. It happened, as you know, on 8 September 1514.

Having experience of clashes in 2007, coordinators suggested to use another place close to a traditional place. There was not lighting: the policemen detained a car, which drove a generator.

Right after they detained another machine, where was the coordinator of the Festival, Mr. Yury Koptsik. A journalist Ivan Shulga was also arrested. Four persons had being detained in Orsha district police department till 10 p.m., and then they were released without any protocols.

The Internet site of the Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD) wrote about the detention of a member of the BCD Valerya Charnamortsava, members of “Young Front” Nasta Loika, Aliaksei Yanusheuski and representatives of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee for Vitebsk region Alina Radachynskaya. Another member of “Young Front”, Orsha inhabitant, Ales Kamensky had being kept in a paddy wagon about 1,5 hours.

About fifteen persons who went to the festival were taken to the Orsha district police department.

They were detained close to the concert stage: without any explanation they were kept in a fitted “paddy wagon”. Only in the police office the detainees were told the reason: they have no flickers. Finally, these boys and girls were taken 25 kilometers out of the Orsha to the railway station Kohanava.

The policemen were guarding Krapivenskaye field all night and even in the morning. In the result it looked like a twenty-four-hour guard of honor of the historic place, joke organizers of the present “Orsha Battle – 2009”, Genadz Shepeleu and Yury Koptsik.

According to Radio “Svaboda”

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