Updated at 16:42,06-12-2016

Police arrest opposition activist Alyaksandr Malchanaw, charge him with disobedience

Opposition activist Alyaksandr Malchanaw was arrested in his hometown of Barysaw, Minsk region, shortly after midnight on Thursday.

The man was taken to the district police department where he was charged with disobeying police orders.

The 23-year-old Mr. Malchanaw has only recently been released from prison. He was one of the 11 post-election protesters who were pardoned by Alyaksandr Lukashenka on September 14.

According to human rights defender Anastasiya Loyka, police were watching the young man following his release.

"On the morning of September 30, police officers came to his house, which he shares with the mother, and produced a prosecutor’s warrant to search his home for weapons," said Ms. Loyka. "They did not find anything".

Policemen called on Mr. Malchanaw a few days later once again to search his home, but this time without a warrant, said the rights defender.

This past midnight, police ambushed him when he arrived at his garage and opened its doors, she said.

"They knocked Malchanaw down and said that they wanted to search his car over a report that he stored flags banned as Belarus`national emblems," said Ms. Loyka. "They also searched his house once again and then arrested Malchanaw for alleged disobedience".

At the police station, Mr. Malchanaw was charged under the Civil Offenses Code. If found guilty, he may face a large fine.