Updated at 19:56,22-01-2021

Ambassador Surikov: Belarus has no political prisoners


According to Belarusian legislation, in Belarus there are no political prisoners, Russian Ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov believes.

"According to the legislation of Belarus, there are no political prisoners in Belarus", said Surikov at a press conference on Wednesday in Minsk, Agency Interfax-Zapad informs. "There is no such thing in the Belarusian legislation", he stressed. "But the European and transatlantic community believe that there is, however, infringement of rights, and such people are political prisoners", continued the diplomat.

The ambassador stressed, he has "skepticism" to such a notion as "political prisoners". "Every country has its own domestic legislation", A. Surikov said.

Touching the case of anarchists, pelted the Russian Embassy in Minsk with "Molotov cocktails", he said, they can not be attributed to political prisoners. "These people we do not consider political prisoners", stated the ambassador.

"If in our country (in Russia - IF) they were arrested, they would sit in prison for sure", added Surikov. However, he urged not confuse politics with a disorderly conduct.

The diplomat believes, for such actions people are prosecuted in the Western countries too.

He said the actions of the Belarusian and Russian authorities related to the crackdown on mass demonstrations "are softer than Western: I do not remember that we or you have used tear gas". The diplomat added, the issue of political prisoners are used "to put pressure on the government."

Earlier it was reported that on May 27, 2011 Court of Zavodskoy District of Minsk sentenced a group of Belarusian anarchists who were accused of arson attacks in a series of government agencies, including the Russian Embassy in Minsk.

The court found the defendants guilty and sentenced Igor Olinevich to 8 years imprisonment, Nicholai Dedko - to 4 ½ years, and Alexander Frantskevich - to 3 years imprisonment.

In the evening of August 30, 2010 at the Russian Embassy in Minsk two Molotov cocktails were thrown, a car belonging to the diplomatic department was damaged. In the incident area an unbroken bottle of 0.33 liters, splits of another bottle and a wick were confiscated. This incident was prosecuted under Article 339 (hooliganism) of the Criminal Code of Belarus.