Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

United Civic Party accuses police officers of stealing flag from its 17th-floor balcony

The white-red-white flag that disappeared from the 17th-floor balcony of the United Civic Party (UCP)'s office in Minsk on Tuesday had been stolen by officers of the Savetski district police station, UCP Chairman Anatol Lyabedzka wrote on Facebook.

UCP activists planted the flag on the balcony after a "Dzen Voli" (Freedom Day) demonstration in Minsk on Sunday, BelaPAN said.

"An investigation has been carried out," Mr. Lyabedzka said. "The organizational affiliation of the thieves has been established. Comrades from the Savetski district police station in Minsk. Neighbors from upstairs gave witness testimony. Early on March 26, people with IDs broke into their place and proceeded to the balcony. Pinching the flag from there was a technical matter."

As UCP spokeswoman Hanna Krasulina told BelaPAN on Wednesday, a police officer confirmed inadvertently the previous evening that the flag had been snatched by his colleagues. "He came to our office and accused us of displaying 'unregistered symbols' from our balcony," she said. "We told the officer that although the white-red-flag was no longer our state flag, it was not an 'unregistered symbol' either, and that we suspected police officers of breaking into our office at night. The man got scared and blurted out that the flag had been removed from upstairs."

The UCP may lodge a complaint to recover this flag and the one that was seized from its member Dzmitry Kavalhin following the demonstration, Ms. Krasulina said.Minsk, 29 March. The white-red-white flag that disappeared from the 17th-floor balcony of the United Civic Party (UCP)'s office in Minsk on Tuesday had been stolen by officers of the Savetski district police station, UCP Chairman Anatol Lyabedzka wrote on Facebook.

UCP activists planted the flag on the balcony after a "Dzen Voli" (Freedom Day) demonstration in Minsk on Sunday.

"An investigation has been carried out," Mr. Lyabedzka said. "The organizational affiliation of the thieves has been established. Comrades from the Savetski district police station in Minsk. Neighbors from upstairs gave witness testimony. Early on March 26, people with IDs broke into their place and proceeded to the balcony. Pinching the flag from there was a technical matter."