Yesterday the 4 workers (pictured) of US-headquartered enterprise startup PandaDoc have been arrested in Minsk by the Belarus police, in what seems to be an act of state-led retaliation, after the corporate’s founders joined protests towards the 26 year-long regime of President Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko is extensively believed by worldwide observers to have rigged the nation’s latest elections in his favor, stopping the election of opposition chief Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.
PandaDoc — which has raised $51.1M and is now headquartered in San Francisco after debuting at a TechCrunch Meetup in Berlin in 2013 — issued an announcement saying their Minsk growth workplace was raided by police and the ‘Financial Investigation Department’ yesterday morning.
PandaDoc has launched an announcement on a brand new site, SavePandaDoc, outlining the incident, saying workers had been prevented from leaving the workplace, refused entry to attorneys, and a director was taken away by Police.
One of the founders of the corporate, Mikita Mikado, who lives within the US, has additionally launched an announcement to this impact on his Instagram and Youtube.
Four of the arrested PandaDoc workers have been charged with embezzling 107,000 BYR ($41,000) from firm and due to this fact avoiding tax. The workers have been detained for 2 months.
However, PandaDoc launched an announcement saying: “We declare that this accusation is totally unfaithful and has no foundation in any respect. All actions of the corporate have been carried out in full compliance with the laws, which is confirmed by repeated worldwide audits and inspections.”
Now held in custody are (additionally pictured):
Yulia Shardiko, Chief Accountant
Dmitry Rabtsevich, Director
Victor Kuvshinov, Product Director
Vladislav Mikholap, HR
Although the corporate HQ is in San Francisco, it has a big workplace on the Belarusian High Technologies Park, which was arrange by the federal government supposedly to help the tech business.
PandaDoc mentioned the police raid was seemingly linked to the truth that the founders of PandaDoc, particularly Mikado, have protested publicly towards the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters by Lukashenko, however have performed so strictly in a private capability.
Mikado not too long ago grew to become a number one voice within the protest motion. He arrange an initiative, DefendBelarus.org, providing Belarusian law enforcement officials who had determined to disobey orders to beat and torture protesters monetary assist and re-training within the tech business.
Belarussian law enforcement officials are successfully ‘indentured workers’ as a result of they’re paid in giant sums originally of their contract, however this instantly turns into a debt to the state the second they determine to interrupt depart their contract.
In an announcement, Mikado mentioned that as of August 29th, the platform had acquired greater than 6,000 messages and nearly 600 requests for assist. The platform is run by volunteers and has no relation to PandaDoc, the corporate.
Mikado mentioned in an announcement: “We are asking worldwide tech neighborhood to help PandaDoc by sharing this message and response to it with a #SavePandaDoc tag.”
“There is not any extra regulation. The authorities don’t even attempt to act based on the regulation, they merely fabricate instances for political orders that come from above. And if you happen to thought that this could not have an effect on you, then we will safely guarantee you of the other – it has already affected everybody,” the assertion reads.
“We is not going to be silent anymore! The nation is filled with authorized chaos. The actions of the authorities can’t be known as something besides genocide and repression. The additional it goes, the longer the street again. And quickly there will probably be a cliff. We demand to right away launch our colleagues, shut the felony case, let the corporate work usually and produce advantages and revenue, together with to the state.”
The firm now says it is going to be pressured to shut the corporate in Belarus and “will start to determine an alternative choice to the Park of High Technologies exterior the Republic of Belarus.”
PandaDoc solely not too long ago raised $30 million in a Series B extension from One Peak, Microsoft Venture Fund M12 and EBRD Venture Fund.
After the Belarusian presidential election on August ninth (which was not acknowledged as free and truthful by the EU, the UK and the US attributable to extensively reported and documented vote-rigging in favor of Lukashenko) the police violently cracked down on peaceable protests, main to 6 reported deaths and 450 UN-documented instances of police torture.