24 Jan 2020 21:15

Minsk opposition activist charged with hooliganism for spraying Pushkin monument with paint

MINSK. Jan 24 (Interfax) - A member of a Belarusian opposition movement has been charged with hooliganism after being arrested on suspicion of vandalizing a monument to Pushkin in Minsk.

"On January 24, human rights campaigners learned that [Filipp] Shavrov had been charged with hooliganism (Part 1 Article 330 of the Criminal Code). His custodial period has been extended for two months. An inquiry is underway," Vyasna, an unregistered human rights group, said on Friday.

It was reported that last week someone sprayed red paint on the monument to the Russian poet outside Belarus Hotel.

On Monday, it emerged that Shavrov, a member of the Young Front, was arrested on suspicion of vandalism. Police claim he turned himself in and confessed.

"The guy didn't give a motive for his actions, but he said he had planned his actions in advance: made a route, bought three cans of spray paint, and buried them near the Tsnyanskoye water reservoir after painting the monument," the Belarusian Interior Ministry said.