Dutch student leader arrested in Russia
12 July 2006, AMSTERDAM —Dutch student leader Irene van den Broek arrives back in the Netherlands on Wednesday after being detained for several hours in Moscow at the beginning of a holiday.
12 July 2006
AMSTERDAM —Dutch student leader Irene van den Broek arrives back in the Netherlands on Wednesday after being detained for several hours in Moscow at the beginning of a holiday.
Van den Broek is the chairperson of the Dutch national student union (LSVb) and a founder of the Mission to Minsk action group.
She was detained by customs officials at 10pm on Tuesday as she arrived by plane in Moscow. She informed the union by SMS on Wednesday morning that she had arrived in Switzerland and would be back in the Netherlands later on Wednesday.
Olivier van Loo, of the Mission to Minsk group, said Van den Broek had gone to Russia for a 10-day holiday. She was not allowed into the country because of her involvement with Mission to Minsk, Van Loo said.
Students from this organisation set out for Belarus three months ago to present the country's authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, with a petition calling for the release of demonstrators. Minsk is the capital of Belarus.
The journey - which had the backing of Dutch and European politicians - ended prematurely in Warsaw. Polish politicians signalled support for the initiative but the students were denied a visa to travel on to Belarus.
The LSVb described the detention of its chairperson as shocking. "The LSVB has dedicated itself to students who are being oppressed in countries such as Belarus. It is a major scandal that this solidarity is being punished in this way by Russia. Unfortunately, it illustrates once again that there is a lack of democracy in these countries".
Mission to Minsk said it would seek an explanation from the Russian Embassy in The Hague.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news