News for January 2008

31.01.2008 Zmitser Zhaliznichenka nominated for student peace prize

BPF youth calls on all civic initiatives and organizations, and mass media, to join the campaign of solidarity with Zmitser Zhaliznichenka and support his candidacy. Plese, send nominations with Zmitser’s name to nomination@studentpeaceprize.org until February 11th, 2008.

31.01.2008 Andrei Kim remains behind bars

Today, after having served the term of administrative arrest, youth activist Andrei Kim was taken to Centralny prosecutor’s office of Minsk. Criminal charges are pressed against him. Investigator Luhin refused to provide any information to the activist’s mother. The only thing we know is that the activist will be kept in jail during the investigation of the case.

31.01.2008 Exonerated Aliaksandar Kruty groundlessly kept in jail

On January 24th, Niasvizh court found Aliaksandar Kruty guilty of public insult of the president (Article 368 of the Criminal Code). However, in conjunction with the fact that the actions of the convict did not bear a big threat to the society, Aliaksandar Kruty was exonerated from punishment, and the criminal case was stopped. During the investigation a forensic medical examination was carried out. It showed, Aliaksandar Kruty was sick with paranoid schizophrenia. The court ruled to apply compulsory measures of care in a mental hospital with ordinary care.

31.01.2008 Local authorities fight with internet

An article about the arrest of an activist of the entrepreneurs’ movement was withdrawn from the site of Sviatlahorsk newspaper «Ranak-plus», Bulletin-online reports.

On January, 23rd newspaper «Ranak-plus» published an article by Aliaksandar Sivak «Convicted for Participating in Rally». The publication read about the legal process against Sviatlahorsk entrepreneur Anatol Zmitrovich who was arrested for participating in a non-sanctioned rally of entrepreneurs in Minsk on January, 10th.

30.01.2008 Police beat opposition youths in Salihorsk

Opposition youths are reported to have been beaten up by police in Salihorsk, Minsk region, on Wednesday over a demonstration staged in protest against increasing crackdown on individual entrepreneurs.

30.01.2008 Authorities to publish “Ideology of Belarusian State in Questions and Answers”

By March 25th, the Information and Analytical Center, which has been recently headed by Aleh Praliaskouski, is charged to carry out an opinion poll aimed at revealing the most urgent problems of political, economic, social and cultural life of the country.

30.01.2008 KGB agents are sorry 1937 remains in the past

Student of Polatsak State University Dzianis Liasun tells Viasna about the KGB attempt to recruit him.

Here’s Dzianis’s story:

On January 21st, about noon, when I was getting ready to my 4th exam, I got a phone call from deputy dean of the faculty. She told me: “Could you do perform a task, please? Come at 3 p.m. tomorrow to the office of the pro-rector for curriculum. They want to see you there.” “What is the reason?”, -- I tried to clarify. “I don’t know. They didn’t explain anything to me”, -- the deputy dean answered.

30.01.2008 Aliaksandar Zdzvizhkou appealed against verdict

Former deputy chief editor of Zhoda newspaper Aliaksandar Zdzvizhkou appealed against the sentence to 3 years of imprisonment for publishing Mohammed cartoons.

Journalist’s lawyer Maya Aliaksandrava says they have appealed against the verdict. “We do not agree with the verdict and ask to cancel it. I cannot give you more details, because the trial was closed for public”, -- the lawyer told RFE/RL. According to Aliaksandrava, the Supreme Court will consider the appeal in late February.

30.01.2008 New Life Church protests

“At our general meeting we made a decision that we would not let anyone in until our demand is satisfied: to cancel the decision of Minsk city executive committee, which ruled to confiscate the land from us, -- pastor Hancharenka says, -- we decided not to let anyone in. This is our action of protest, the action of civic disobedience. We defined our position, and will not let anyone in, under any circumstances. They should solve their problems, instead of pressurizing us”.

30.01.2008 Lidia Yarmoshyna: Institute of international election observation is a purely political tool

Institute of international election observation is a purely political tool, Lidia Yarmoshyna, chairperson of the Central Election Commission, stated in the interview to Belaruskaya Dumka magazine.

30.01.2008 Prison for national flag?

Barys Khamaida and Aliaksandar Salauyan, democratic activists from Vitebsk, were detained yesterday. They spent the night in the remand jail.

30.01.2008 Zmitser Zhaleznichenka urgently returned to Zhlobin

January 29th, Minsk. Zmitser Zhaleznichenka is urgently taken from Minsk military hospital to a military unit in Zhlobin. In the opinion of Uladzimir Labkovich, executive secretary of BPF Party, this may be linked to the great attention to the events around Zmitser paid by reporters and the leadership of BPF Party.

30.01.2008 Navumau threatens entrepreneurs with criminal cases

50 people may be brought to justice for participation in the unauthorized action held in Minsk on January 10th, Minister of internal affairs Uladzimir Navumau said.

29.01.2008 Larysa Nasanovich arrested for 15 days

Today Judge of Salihorski district court Aliaksandar Burautsou arrested civic activist Larysa Nasanovich for 15 days. She was charged with participation in an unauthorized rally of entrepreneurs in Salihorski on January 28th.

29.01.2008 Less registered political parties and regional branches

The Ministry of Justice published a report about registered parties, trade unions, non-governmental organizations, and foundations in Belarus.

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