Detention of people arrested over firebomb attack on Russian embassy extended by three days

The indymedia site described the arrested men as “civil society activists who participate in various social campaigns aimed at the protection of human rights...

The detention period of a group of young people arrested on September 3 over a firebomb attack on the Russian embassy in Minsk on August 30 has been extended by another three days, reported the news site belarus.indymedia.org.

The Minsk city police department on Thursday refused to give any information to BelaPAN.

Six young men – Ihar Bahachak, Valery Khotsin, Syarhey Slyusar, Mikalay Dzyadok, Alyaksey Zhynhyarowski and Alyaksandr Frantskevich – were arrested in a police raid on an apartment in Minsk on September 3 in connection with the attack.

The indymedia site described the arrested men as “civil society activists who participate in various social campaigns aimed at the protection of human rights and free access to information.” No formal charges have yet been brought against them, according to the site.

The six young men were arrested at about 6 a.m. on September 3 after an anarchist group claimed responsibility for the attack on the Russian embassy, in which a diplomat’s Mazda 3 car was burned after two glass bottles containing a flammable substance were hurled into the embassy's territory at about 10 p.m. on August 30.

In a statement posted on http://www.belarus.indymedia.org and http://www.belarus.avtonom.org on September 2, the group said that the attack was in response to the Russian authorities' crackdown on activists protesting plans to build a new Moscow-St. Petersburg highway through a forest north of the Russian capital city.

On September 8, police and KGB officers arrested Uladzimir Valodzin, a member of Council of the Belarusian Party of the Greens; civil society activist Tatsyana Semyanishchava, and Ihar Shchapiha, a member of an opposition group called Pravy Alyans (Right Alliance).

They, as well as the previously arrested men, are also being investigated for involvement in an April 30 incident in which a door to a Minsk office of Belarusbank was set on fire, and in an incident that occurred on the same day, in which two fireworks were thrown into the House of Trade Unions in Minsk.

All the suspects are being held in the detention center on Akrestsina Street. The press office of the interior ministry has officially confirmed that someone threw two bottles containing a flammable substance at the detention center’s wall and metal door on the night between September 5 and 6.