Statement on critical support for Alexander Frantskevich

On August 12th , Alexander Frantskevich and Akihiro Hanada were detained in Minsk. Later it became known that they were transferred to pre-trial detention center #1, both are charged with Article 293.1 (organization of mass riots).

A few days ago we made a statement that we would not support A. Frantskevich in any form. After publication of our position we received several reports, including from people who had suffered from Frantskevich’s actions, with an offer to reconsider our opinion taking into account the circumstances in the country.

We discussed this issue and came to the following:

  • Now the repressions have reached an unprecedented scale, torture and inhuman treatment are very widespread and Frantskevich, who was in focus of political police, is likely to get exactly this attitude.
  • We have not considered Frantskevich an anarchist for a long time, as his actions are at odds with anarchist principles and even harm the anarchist movement. But GUBOP pursues Frantskevich exactly as an anarchist, and this should be taken into account when shaping our position.

With this in mind, ABC-Belarus has decided:

  • To cover the case of Frantskevich on our resources and to spread information about the case among foreign comrades. At the same time, we will accompany all such reports with a note on why our support is critical, so that comrades can conclude for themselves whether they want to support this man.
  • Such support for Frantskevich is also exceptional. In other words, it will only be provided in the framework of this criminal case. Subsequent repression against him will be discussed separately.
  • To give full support to the anarchist Akihiro Hanada.

We have offered the Frantskevich support team our assistance with fundraising. It may take some time for the group to decide. Updates on how you can support Alexander will be published a little later.

During the last 6 years Alexander Frantskevich repeatedly threatened anarchists and anti-fascists from Belarus and Ukraine with violence. We know about at least two cases when he was responsible for organizing a group attack on individual anarchists. After the ABC-Belarus condemned the violence against anarchists, Frantskevich threatened that he would disrupt our events and sabotage the collection of money. He also began to spread false information that ABC-Belarus does not support those who communicate with him or choose direct action as their method.

He was accused of trying to deceive his own comrades, including on financial issues. Since 2016, most anarchist groups and initiatives in Belarus have not cooperated with this man.

According to our information, both detainees have lawyers and human rights organizations are watching the case.

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