News for August 2007

31.08.2007 Russian Nazis Revenge to Pavel Levinau

The representative of the national human rights public association Belarusian Helsinki Committee in Vitsebsk region Pavel Levinau has applied to the prosecutor’s office for bringing a criminal case against the persons who send to citizens of Vitsebsk letters with threats on behalf of Russian National Unity (RNE) with putting his personal address in the ‘sender’ field.

31.08.2007 Mahiliou Journalist Tries to Bring Policeman to Account

An independent journalist Hanna Iliina accuses police major Siarhei Andreyenka of illegal detention and violence. Today the forensic experts of Mahiliou have registered several haematomas on Illina’s body.

31.08.2007 Paranoid Behavior of Salihorsk Police

On 31 August the Salihorsk police worked in an emergency regime. Since the early morning they have been controlling the whereabouts of the most active democratic activists of the town. They have waited for them near the porches, phoned to their jobs and homes and detained them.

31.08.2007 Detention in Asipovichy

At about 11 p.m. on 30 August in Asipovichy the police detained the chair of Asipovichy branch of the BPF Youth Artsiom Dubski. The police detained him on getting off a train. They proposed him to come to the police station as a witness, but he refused.

31.08.2007 Siarhei Siamionau Fined for Demanding Belarusian Version of Customs Declaration

The Homel activist Siarhei Siamionau was fined 930 000 rubles (about 432 US dollars) for a demand to give him a blank of the customs declaration in Belarusian. The verdict was issued by the judge of Tsentralny district court of Homel Maryia Damenka.

31.08.2007 Mahiliou: Police Detain Youth Activists for Birthday Celebration

Seven youth activists including Tatsiana Bulanava, Uladzimir Krauchanka and Zmitser Salauiou celebrated the birthday of one of their friends in a forest not far from Mahiliou. At about 3 p.m. a police patrol suddenly came there. The policemen found no legal reasons for detention as the activists as the latter ones even didn’t have any alcohol. Despite this, the seven were detained and taken to the police department. For the first three hours the police could not motivate the detention. Finally they called an inspector of the ministry of emergency situations who composed a report for violation of fire security in the forest against Zmitser Salauiou.

31.08.2007 Ales Bialiatsi: Lukashenka’s System Ruthlessly Eradicates Belarusian Language

As a result of the referendum of 1995 Belarusian lost the status of the only state language and the Belarusian authorities returned to the practice of the large-scale suppression of the language of the titular nation. During the last ten years the Lukashenka-established state system has ruthlessly eradicated the Belarusian language.

31.08.2007 Enforced Disappearances Have No Time Limitation

30 August is the international day of victims of enforced disappearances. Its establishment was initiated by the working group on enforced and involuntary disappearances of the UN Commission on Human Rights. At present the group consists of five experts. They consider the reports about the missing that are sent by their relatives or human rights organizations and take appropriate reaction. In addition, in December 2006 there was adopted the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Pitifully enough, the Republic of Belarus still has not ratified this document, despite the fact that this problem is a daily one for our country, where hundreds of people disappear every year.

30.08.2007 Five and One Reasons Not to Register Human Rights Association ‘Viasna’

The founders of the human rights public association ‘Viasna’ have finally received an official letter of the Ministry of Justice ‘On refusal of state registration for the public association’. There are several reasons that have been invented by the officials for the refusal.

30.08.2007 Homel Police Detain People for Celebrating Lukashenka’s Birthday

On 30 August in the center of Homel the police in mufti detained four youth activists: Siarhei Astafonau, Vital Birukou, Andrei Tsianiuta and Zmitser Zhaleznichenka. The detainees were told that they were suspected in robbery. All of them were taken to Tsentralny district police department of Homel for ‘identification’.

30.08.2007 Homel: Activist Struggles for Authorization of Meeting

On 29 August Tsentralny district court of Homel rejected the suit of the local public activist Piatro Kuzniatsou against the refusal of Homel city executive committee to authorize a meeting against repeal of social benefits.

30.08.2007 Preventive Detention in Aziarets Settlement on the Eve of Lukashenka’s Visit

Today, on 30 August, Zhdanovichy court sentenced an activist of the civil campaign For Freedom! from Aziarets Yauhen Silvanovich to five days of jail. The activist was detained in the evening of 29 August by workers of Zhdanovichy district police department.

30.08.2007 Polish Spies to Be Tried the Same Day with 'Young Front' Activists

On 29 August we learned that the court hearings on the espionage case will start at the military college board of the Supreme Court on 4 September. The trial will be closed.

30.08.2007 Chernobyl Liquidator Vasil Silivestr Stops Hunger-strike

On 27 August the liquidator of the consequences of Chernobyl accident Vasil Silivestr came from Kalinkavichy to the Homel scientific-practical center of radiation medicine to make a public statement about termination of the hunger-strike of protest that was started by him last week.

30.08.2007 Mikalai Autukhovich: Repentance for Parole?

A well-known entrepreneur Mikalai Autukhovich has served almost half of the 3,5 years to which he has been sentenced for alleged non-payment of taxes. Recently he has passed a letter to his friends and relatives. There he writes that most probably he would not be granted parole (though those who have served a half of the term can count on it).

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