On Chritmas Mobile Prison “Guarded” Cathedral


A police van, in which the detained are usually transported, was spotted on 6 January near the Holy Spirit cathedral.

“It is an ancient Belarusian tradition to put police vans near churches on Christmas and Easter. They thwart evil spirits”, a citizen of Minsk Hleb Patapenka wrote on Facebook while posting a photo of the van, charter97.org reports.

A lawyer and a human rights activist Tamara Syarhey failed to attend the Holy Spirit cathedral on 7 January when Aleksandr Lukashenko was there. The woman was detented for and ID check and accused of breaking a “closed event”.

Near the noon, while approaching the cathedral, Tamara Syarhey noticed that the steps leading to the Orthodox shrine on Nyamiha street were blocked with metal barriers guarded by policemen and unknown people in civilian dress.

“I thought they were conducting a usual search of the faithful but guards told me that till 1.00 p.m. the cathedral is accessable only by invitations. Because it was almost an hour before the stated time I changed my mind and went to Nyamiha subway station, but near the entrance two unknown people in civilian dress overtook me and demanded to follow them. When I asked why they stated that I tried to break the closed event. I was very surprised and explained that I wanted to attend the church and not some closed event and asked what closed event can take place in the church on Christmas”, – the lawyer told.

Then police Captain Ruslan Myslivets of Minsk city executive committee checked her documents and later brought his apologies for the incident.