News for February 2008

29.02.2008 Salihorsk entrepreneurs receive big fines

On February 27th the court of Minsk district and Zaslauye considered administrative charges against three family members of Salihorsk entrepreneur Aliaksandr Tsatsura and against Viktar Kryval.

Judge Siarhei Ahafonski recognized them guilty of violating Article 23.4 of the Administrative Code – “Insubordination to the legal demands of a police officer” and imposed the following fines: Aliaksandr Tsatsura – 50 basic units, Tamara Tsatsura – 30 basic units, Ilya Tsatsura – 30 basic units. Viktar Kryval who is serving a 15-days arrest, was also fined 50 basic units, in his absence.

27.02.2008 Criminal case against Andrei Kim ready for trial

According to the Code of the Criminal Procedure, the case will be sent to court when Andrei reads through the case materials. The trial is likely to start in March. Andrei Kim faces up to 6 years of imprisonment.

27.02.2008 Human Rights Center “Viasna” protests against politically motivated persecution of students

During the last month the following students were expelled for political reasons: Zmitser Zhaleznichenka (expelled from the 3rd year at Mathematical faculty of Homel State University; Katsiaryna Salauyova (expelled from the 2nd year of faculty of history and philology of Polatsak State University; Fiodar Charankou (expelled from the 1st year of Mazyr State pedagogical University; Franak Viachorka (expelled from the 3rd year of faculty of journalistic of the Belarusian State University; and Anton Kalinouski (expelled from the 1st year of Minsk State Linguistics University).

27.02.2008 Criminal persecution of protest action participants continues

At present moment the following activists are suspected:

1. Mikhas Pashkevich 2. Tatsiana Tsishkevich 3. Mikhas Subach 4. Ales Charnyshou 5. Ales Straltsou 6. Paval Vinahradau 7. Aliaksei Bondar 8. Aliaksandr Barazenka 9. Maksim Dashuk 10. Uladzimir Siarheyeu 11. Mikhas Kryvau

26.02.2008 A. Zdvizhkou: "I Will Breathe Calm As Soon As I Leave the Territory of Belarus…"

A. Zdvizhkou is going to leave Belarus, to change his citizenship and to leave the journalist trade in the nearest future. He told about that to his colleagues during his first press-conference after the release from prison, held at the Central Office of Belarusian Association of Journalists on February 25, 2008.

26.02.2008 Aliaksandr Kazulin: I do not have hate for Lukashenka

liaksandr Kazulin is not doing to apply for early release, but he is ready to sit down to the round table of negotiations with the regime.

“There won’t be an application for early release from me ever. I am an innocent man,” the political prisoner, leader of the Belarusian Social Democratic party (Hramada), a former presidential candidate Aliaksandr Kazulin said in an interview to BelaPAN.

26.02.2008 Navumau’s threat to launch 50 criminal cases against action participants slowly coming true

he human rights center “Viasna” found out, investigation department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs started interrogating suspects on the criminal case under Article 342 of the Criminal Code “organization or active participation in group actions that seriously violate the public order”. The criminal case was instigated after the rally and march of entrepreneurs that took place on January 10th in Minsk. According to our information, 12 people are suspected. Today three of the suspected – Uladzimir Siarheyeu, Ales Straltsou, and Mikhas Kryvau -- were summoned to investigation department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for interrogation.

26.02.2008 Minsk city executive committee made no decision on Iryna Kazulina’s burial

Minsk city executive committee said to the relatives of political prisoner’s wife Iryna Kazulina, the decision on allowing burial “is not within their competence.” The Kazulins family is sending a request to the Council of Ministers.

26.02.2008 Service in memory of Iryna Kazulina to start on February 26, 8.00 p.m.

Iryna Kazulina’s burial service will stake place on February 27. The visitation will take place at the St. Simon and St. Helene Catholic Church (the Red Church)from February 26th, 8 p.m. till February 27th, noon.

26.02.2008 Alaksandar Kazulin Released to Bury his Wife

Alaksandar Kazulin, who had been released by the administration of the colony "Vitba-3" for three days to bury his wife Iryna, was conveyed to Minsk on the night of February 26. Iryna had died after a serious illness on February 23.

25.02.2008 Yulya Kazulina addressed to Lukashenka

Younger daughter of political prisoner Alyaksandr Kazulin addressed a letter to Alyaksandr Lukashenka. The girl asks to allow to “bury mother in accordance with Christian and simply human, moral laws. The dearest man for her – her husband – should pay last tribute to her.”

25.02.2008 KGB "Department of Kind Affairs" Interested in Journalists

BAJ member Maryja Savushkina is insistently invited by some unknown man, who represents himself as "a representative of KGB Department of Kind Affairs" by phone for a meeting.

25.02.2008 Vitebsk Region Authorities Diminished Rental Costs of Editorial

The state media editorials in Vitebsk region, founded by the local governmental and self-governmental authorities will pay only 15% of the agreed amounts of editorial office rent. A corresponding decision has been signed by Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee.

25.02.2008 Svyatlana Aleksievich: “I wish Lukashenka behaved like a man in this situation”

“I live in the same apartment building with the Kazulins. It was always pleasant to see them. It was seen, these people love each other, they are happy. They had everything: success, respect, love. There are many rather rich people in our apartment building. But most of them are gloomy, while this family stood out from them. Iryna had a talent of life,” Belarusian writer Svyatlana Aleksievich said in the interview to the newspaper “Nasha Niva.”

25.02.2008 Kazulin’s daughters go on hunger strike

Daughters of the political prisoner Alyaksandr Kazulin have gone on hunger strike at 2.00pm in protest of the fact the authorities refuse to release their father Alyaksandr Kazulin. Wife of the political prisoner Iryna Kazulina died of the serious disease on 23 February. The political prisoner wasn’t released nor given a leave to say farewell to his wife.

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