Another member of a non-governmental organization Ecohome, Alena Dubovik, was detained in Minsk on Friday, October 23rd. On October 26th, she was sentenced to 15 days in prison for attending a public assembly against the falsified presidential elections on October 18th. After detentions and imprisonments of environmental activists Irina Sukhy and Marina Dubina, according to the Czech NGO Arnika, this is another case of persecuting “inconvenient” people.
“In Belarus, public gatherings are not allowed without the permission of the authorities, which is, of course, almost impossible to obtain for certain types of events. Imprisoning inconvenient civic activists for participating in unauthorized public assemblies has become a new sad tradition for Belarus after the falsified presidential elections in August,” comments Martin Skalsky, head of Arnika’s Citizens Support Center.
The alleged witness testifying in court could not remember what Alena was wearing, but claimed he had noticed the participants in the meeting and remembered Alena. As the witness explained himself, he did not detain Alena on the spot because he “did not have enough opportunities” .
Alena Dubovik works for Ecohome as an operator of ‘Green Telephone’ – consulting service for people who want to solve environmental problems in their area. The service handles about six hundred different queries every year. Arnika helped to set up the Green Telephone in 2017, thanks to the Transition Promotion Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, and it has operated since then – until these days.
According to Arnika, the mentioned imprisonments are related to the fact that for a long time, Ecohome has been drawing attention to the safety and environmental risks of the Ostrovets nuclear power plant project and is the leader of the Belarusian anti-nuclear movement. The Czech NGO has therefore repeatedly called on the Belarusian authorities to stop the persecution and on international organizations to pay attention to the situation in Belarus.