2005-08-24 18:09:48

Two Georgians Arrested in Belarus

/ Civil Georgia, Tbilisi /

Two activists of the Georgian youth movement Kmara - Giorgi Kandelaki and Luka Tsuladze have been arrested in Belarus, the Georgian media sources reported on August 24.

The two Georgian citizens were reportedly arrested in Minsk together with coordinator of the Belarus youth resistance movement Zubr, Vladimir Kobets. Kobets was released shortly after the arrest.

"This is a purely politically-motivated arrest because I represent the movement Zubr: Police took our fingerprints and recorded our voice. After that I was released, but Giorgi and Luka still remain at the police station," Kobets said in a phone interview with Rustavi 2 television.

Belarus police officials explained that the two Georgian citizens were "taken to the police station to check their documents," according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

Giorgi Kandelaki and Luka Tsuladze left for Minsk a week ago. Kmara activists also often traveled to Ukraine on the eve of the 2004 Orange Revolution helping and advising the analogous Ukrainian youth movement Pora.

Belarus Foreign Minister Sergey Martinov said in an interview with the Belarus state TV channel on June 10 that Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko's decision on the possible enforcement of visa requirements for Georgian citizens was triggered by the threat of, as he put it, the arrival of "revolutionary fighters" in Belarus from Georgia.