Civil society mobilises to protect Kurapaty
As of February 20th, 2017, Young Front and civil society activists, including Dzmitry Dashkevich, Pavel Sevyarynets and others, are on a 24-hour duty to protect the Kurapaty area from the construction of a business centre. Activists effectively use social media to mobilise civil society to protect the Kurapaty area, they launched a solidarity campaign and advocate to the local residents. On February 23rd, the developer met with the Minsk city authorities and a decision should be taken in the near future, meanwhile, the authorities allowed the developer to fence the construction site. The state media (eg SB. Belarus Today, the presidential administration newspaper) proposed to erect a memorial in Kurapaty, which could wind down the conflict.
Following crackdown and arrests of participants in the spring protests, the authorities resumed arrests as punishment for participating in street protests in addition to fines, which for some time were the only punishment for political activity. On September 22nd, 2017, the riot police detained the Belarusian National Congress leader Nikolai Statkevich, the opposition politician was placed in detention centre on Akrestin street. On the same day, after serving seven days of arrest, another BNC leader, Vladimir Neklyaev, was released. He was sentenced for organising a street protest on September 8th against the West-2017 exercises. Other participants in the protest have been fined too. The authorities are likely to continue to use fines and arrests against political activists to punish for their protest activity.