In an exclusive interview with N1, freelance journalist Dan Peleschuk describes the moments before and during 48-hour long detention that he experienced in Belarus capital amid the mass protests against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko.
Although he applied for a media accreditation to report on the presidential vote, Peleschuk never got a response from the Belarus Foreign Ministry so he decided to travel to the country as a tourist. He did no interviews, published no stories and was not active on social networks. “Just to make clear that I wasn’t there to work without accreditation but instead to soak in the surrounding.”
The clashes broke out after the polling stations closed on Sunday evening, according to the journalist. The next evening he took a walk towards one of the sites where the protests took place the night before when several police officers approached him and started “bombarding” him with questions: where are you going, where are you from, why are your hands in your pockets, etc.
“They weren’t really interested in the answers but in the excuses to detain me in. It wasn’t long after they learned that I was an American visiting from Kyiv that I was grabbed on inner sides of my arms by two different officers and hold onto the prisoner vehicle,” said Peleschuk.
Watch the entire interview in the video.