KGB continues raids on homes of opposition activists, journalists

In Babruysk, Mahilyow region, KGB officers searched the home of Alena Myadzvedzeva, an activist of the “Tell the Truth!” campaign...

KGBKGB officers in Mahilyow on January 15 raided the home of Dzmitry Salawyow, chairman of the Mahilyow regional organization of the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF), and conducted a search in his absence.

As his wife Nadzeya told BelaPAN, the four KGB officers seized a computer, a video cassette, a storage card for a digital camera, and two white-red-white flags.

According to Mrs. Salawyow, the search warrant said that since Dzmitry Salawyow attended the post-election protest in Minsk’s Independence Square on December 19 and recorded something on video, the search was to be conducted with a view to finding video records and data storage devices.

Mr. Salawyow said he was sure that the KGB officers intentionally searched his home when he was out of town. “They knew that I would be in Minsk on January 15 to attend a meeting of the BPF Council,” he told BelaPAN. “I mentioned that when I was questioned at the Mahilyow KGB office on January 12. In addition, they wiretap my phone conversations.”

In Babruysk, Mahilyow region, KGB officers searched the home of Alena Myadzvedzeva, an activist of the “Tell the Truth!” campaign, which was led by former presidential candidate Uladzimir Nyaklyayew.

“The search was conducted by four KGB officers, who brought two students of Mahilyow Forestry Industry College to be witnesses,” Ms. Myadzvedzeva told BelaPAN. “They took away a modem, various things featuring the logos of Nyaklyayew and the ‘Tell the Truth!’ campaign, my personal notes, disks of songs to Nyaklyayew’s verses, and a new book by Valery Karbalevich, ‘Alyaksandr Lukashenka. A Political Portrait.’”

According to Ms. Myadzvedzeva, the search warrant was issued by the Minsk City Prosecutor’s Office. She noted that the KGB officers were polite, unlike the policemen who searched her apartment in March 2010.

Also on Saturday, KGB officers searched the home of prominent investigative journalist Viktar Fedarovich and the home of his parents.

Mr. Fedarovich stressed in an interview with BelaPAN that he had nothing to do with the December 19 post-election protest in Minsk and had no affiliation to any opposition parties or groups. According to him, the search of his apartment was conducted by three KGB officers, with two of them being in the rank of lieutenant-colonel. They seized a computer, a laptop, a digital voice recorder, USB flash devices, notebooks and documents and records containing his journalistic material, including that on the criminal case against Svyatlana Baykova, a former senior investigator with the Prosecutor General’s Office.

Mr. Fedarovich said he could not understand why the house of his parents was searched. “Some pieces of paper and a disk were taken away from them,” he said. “My father has nothing to do with my activities. He is 73 years old. He has had three cardiac infarctions and has a first-degree disability.”

Mr. Fedarovich noted that he would complain about the search to all possible agencies and institutions. “I’ll demand that my equipment be returned to me, as those things were the tools with which I earned my living,” he said.