The interior Ministry of Belarus commented on the arrest of the blogger in Grodno
After the incident in Grodno, during which were detained blogger Sergei tikhanovski, previously planned to run for President of Belarus and his supporters, a criminal case regarding violence against two policemen, said on Saturday the press service of the interior Ministry.
Friday night in Grodno on the picket for collection of signatures in the electoral campaign in Belarus, according not registered by the authorities human rights center "Viasna", was arrested the blogger and nine others. Earlier tikhanovski could not register the initiative group to collect signatures in support of his nomination as a presidential candidate, because at that time he was serving an administrative arrest and could not personally sign the documents for submission to the CEC. But the initiative group was registered spouse Tikhanovski – Svetlana, and now she's running for President. The blogger himself is the head of its initiative group.
"The twenty-ninth of may in Grodno on the area of the Soviet were arrested, including previous convictions, repeatedly brought to administrative responsibility, who have used violence against members of the police Department of Leninski district Department of internal Affairs with the purpose of obstructing their lawful activities. Among the detainees Gomel blogger Sergei tikhanovski," - said the press service of the interior Ministry.
According to her, two policemen sustained injuries of varying severity, they are currently hospitalized. "Investigators opened a criminal case over violence against employees of internal Affairs bodies", - stated in the message.
According to the criminal code of Belarus, article "Violence or threat of violence against an employee of the internal Affairs bodies" provides punishment in the form of arrest or restriction of liberty for a term up to five years, or deprivation of liberty for a term up to six years.
On Friday afternoon the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko visited the Minsk tractor plant, where he talked with the team. Answering one of the questions Lukashenko spoke about his rivals in the presidential election and expressed doubt that the electoral campaign can defeat a woman. Speaking of Tikhanovski, the President called him "mangy" which "here goes, screaming in Minsk and in other cities". At the same time Lukashenko noted that he knows "whose machines he drives, who his finances". According to the head of state, he is aware also, came tikhanovski and "what's his citizenship."
Presidential elections in Belarus scheduled for 9 August. Central election Commission of Belarus has registered 15 initiative groups to collect signatures in support of nomination of candidates, one contender later refused to participate in the election campaign. Registration of candidates will be held from 5 to 14 July. After that starts the period of election campaign.