Information about detention of Mikalai Sharakh, chairperson of the Belarusian Free Trade Union (SPB), has appeared. According to eyewitnesses, he was detained by the police at his home in Polatsk at 3:30 p.m. on the 6th of March.
The possible reason for detention could be his subscription to BySol group in social networks. Most likely he will be charged under administrative article 19.11, which provides responsibility for distribution or storage of extremist materials included in the national list of extremist materials. The Belarusian authorities punish their opponents with a fine or/and administrative arrest up to 15 days under this article.
A week ago Sviatlana Stukava, wife of the SPB activist from Polatsk, Viktar Stukau, was detained and arrested for 15 days on a similar reason. She spent 72 hours in custody, and on March 1st, the judge of Polatsk city and district Yanina Martsulevich found Sviatlana Stukava guilty under part 2 of article 19.11 of the Administrative Code and sentenced her to 15 days of arrest.
The basis for the charges was a subscription to BySol Facebook page. Victar Stukau, who was the wife’s public representative during the trial, tried to prove that the subscription had nothing to do with distribution and that the wife had never contacted BySol. However, the judge decided that the subscription was conducted for the purpose of distributing information about the organization recognized as extremist.