Law enforcement officials visited the relatives of a Belarusian who has long been living in Spain.

He is sure that this is due to his political activity on the Internet, as well as official requests to the EU authorities to take measures regarding the leadership of Belarus.

Vadim Kikhano has been living in Spain since 2006, and he sometimes visits his relatives in Belarus. The last time he was in the country was about a year ago. On Tuesday, June 30, his father contacted him with the question: “What have you done?” He also said that three law enforcement officers came to his house that day — which ministry they represented the man does not know, because he could not read their certificates without glasses. The men questioned him about his son, and they already had fairly detailed information about all his relatives and even knew some facts of his biography. At first, the father thought it was a normal check out- the family is on self-isolation due to the coronavirus. After the initial questions about his son, the man thought that this could be in connection with the army draft: although Vadim is already 28 years old and has a military ID in his hands, in the past, when he was still studying in Spain, he had some issues with the military recruiting office. However, the officials said they came with a different case.

One of them began to write down all the answers to the following questions: when Vadim was last in Belarus, where he lives now, how long ago he has left, whether he has some real estate property, where he works or studies — they wrote the protocol, then they gave it to his father to sign. They were interested in his upcoming visit. I asked them a question: what did he do? They said: it doesn’t matter — it’s none of your business, said the father of the young man. On the same day, his relatives informed Vadim that they had a visit at his registration address in one of the villages of the Borisov district -his uncle’s house — also from law enforcement officers who came with a search warrant and witnesses. They did not search the house, but limited themselves to inspection, making sure that Vadim did not live there. They again refused to answer questions about the reason for the visit. The owner of the house cannot say either who exactly they were: investigators, police or KGB officers.

They said that they were from Minsk, and they had a paper from the authorities from Grodna asking them to check this address. I explained to them that Vadim is not here and he visits us once a year. They asked me if I am in contact with him. I explained that I only communicate with my sister, his mother. I always find out from her how Vadim’s doing, said his uncle.

Vadim is sure that this interest of law enforcement agencies in him is due to the fact that recently he has actively criticized Belarusian authorities on the Internet, and also posted similar information on his page on the social network, including a survey of who will become the future president of Belarus — more than 5 thousand users participated in it.

The young man also wrote an electronic request to the European Parliament, where he pointed out that activists and ordinary citizens are being unfairly detained in Belarus, criminal cases are being brought up against potential presidential candidates, and fair elections are in question. Vadim also wrote to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.

The Belarusian man states that he was never involved in any criminal or illegal activities, so these actions can only be associated with his active civic engagement.

The young man also wrote an electronic request to the European Parliament, where he pointed out that activists and ordinary citizens are being unfairly detained in Belarus, criminal cases are being brought up against potential presidential candidates, and fair elections are in question. Vadim also wrote to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.

The Belarusian man states that he was never involved in any criminal or illegal activities, so these actions can only be associated with his active civic engagement.

The Belarusian man states that he was never involved in any criminal or illegal activities, so these actions can only be associated with his active civic engagement.

I criticize those in power all the time. I also criticize the authorities in Spain — there are enough people who deserve it here too. But so far no one in Spain has come to me and said: you are a foreign agent, you want instability in our country or something like that. I’m used to freedom of speech and I understand that it is not about Belarus, but I didn’t think that even on the Internet you can’t speak out.

The official representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus Olga Chemadanava assured that the Minsk Region Department of the Interior does not have information about these events. The KGB did not clarify the situation. I cannot confirm or deny the information on the participation of employees of KGB in the investigative actions in Borisov. I can neither confirm nor deny it — I do not have this information, said the official representative of the KGB, Andrei Yarosh.

The official representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus Olga Chemadanava assured that the Minsk Region Department of the Interior does not have information about these events. The KGB did not clarify the situation. I cannot confirm or deny the information on the participation of employees of KGB in the investigative actions in Borisov. I can neither confirm nor deny it — I do not have this information, said the official representative of the KGB, Andrei Yarosh.

The official representative of the Investigative Committee, Sergei Kabakovich, said that he did not have any information on this subject either.

The official representative of the Investigative Committee, Sergei Kabakovich, said that he did not have any information on this subject either.

This is not the first time that visits of law enforcement officers to Belarusian households are associated with their activity on the Internet. For example, the representatives of the Chief Administration in Fight with the Organized Crime visited one Minsk resident recently: they carried out an inspection of the home, and also took the computer to check the materials. This Minsk resident believes that this may be due to the fact that he is subscribed to the ´Army with People´ Telegram channel.

This is not the first time that visits of law enforcement officers to Belarusian households are associated with their activity on the Internet. For example, the representatives of the Chief Administration in Fight with the Organized Crime visited one Minsk resident recently: they carried out an inspection of the home, and also took the computer to check the materials. This Minsk resident believes that this may be due to the fact that he is subscribed to the ´Army with People´ Telegram channel.

This is a translation of the article previously published on TUT.BY on July 2nd, 2020.

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Stories of people hoping for a democratic Belarus. Created, translated and moderated by a collective of independent authors.

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Voices from Belarus

Stories of people hoping for a democratic Belarus. Created, translated and moderated by a collective of independent authors.