News for February 2008

25.02.2008 Political prisoner denied right to bury his wife

Chief of the colony “Vitba-3” Vital Ahnistykau refused to speak with journalists on the morning of 25 February, but said to human rights activist Paval Levinau, he was preparing a refusal for Alyaksandr Kazulin of leaving the colony for funeral of his wife, who died on 23 February.

22.02.2008 Campaign on Informing Students about Politically Motivated Expulsions Starts at Belarusian State University

The campaign is conducted by a group of the year-mates of the oppositionist Franak Viachorka, who has been expelled from the third year at the journalistic faculty of BSU.

22.02.2008 Criminal Case against Participants of European March

The peaceful mass action European March took place on 14 October 2007. HRC Viasna learned that on 28 December 2007 the investigations department of Pershamaiski district police department of Minsk brought a criminal case under part 2 of article 339 of the Criminal Code ‘hooligan action, performed by a group of individuals’, because two police cars were allegedly damaged by the action participants.

22.02.2008 Salihorsk: New Action for Protection of Social Guarantees?

The coalition of democratic forces have applied to the town authorities for authorization of an action against the liquidation of social guarantees. The applicants have little hope that the action will be permitted, because in the recent years the authorities have turned down more than 100 applications of democratic activists.

22.02.2008 Patients of Tuberculosis Hospital Promise New Action of Protest

Patients of the republican tuberculosis hospital Navayelnia (Hrodna oblast, Dziatlava district) promise to start another hunger-strike, apply to NGOs and foreign organizations. The head the bureau for organizing of medical aid, head of the research institute of pulmonology and physiatrics said: ‘Everything is alright in Navayelnia, only the patients who are former prisoners are to blame.’

22.02.2008 Court Justifies Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions

On 21 February Leninski district court of Minsk dropped the administrative case that had been brought against the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BCDTU) for alleged illegal purchase and use of polygraphic equipment. The BCDTU hopes that soon the law machinery will also return the confiscated risograph.

Provocation against Anzhalika Borys, Chairperson for Union of Poles

22.02.2008 Provocation against Anzhalika Borys, Chairperson for Union of Poles

In Hrodna unknown persons made a provocation against Anzhalika Borys, the chairperson for the Union of Poles in Belarus (there are two unions nowadays, and the one that is chaired by Anzhalika Borys is not recognized by the Belarusian authorities).

22.02.2008 Political Prisoner Aliaksandr Zdvizhkou to Be Released Today

On 22 February the Supreme Court of Belarus considered the cassation appeal of the former deputy editor of Zgoda newspaper Aliaksandr Zdzvizhkou. Earlier Zdvizhkou was sentenced to three years of imprisonment for publishing the Prophet Mohammed cartoons.

21.02.2008 Hrodna KGB Warns For Freedom! Activist

On 21 February Eduard Dmukhouski was summonsed to Hrodna oblast KGB office and was warned about ‘the inadmissibility of actions that grossly violate the public order.’

21.02.2008 Pavel Kuryanovich and Tatsiana Tsishkevich Expelled from Universities

Activists of the civil campaign For Freedom! Pavel Kuryanovich and Tatsiana Tsishkevich were expelled from universities after administrative arrests for participation in the street actions on 10 and 16 January.

19.02.2008 Barysau: Private Apartments of Siarhei Salash and His Mother Are Under Arrest

A week ago it became known that the apartment of Siarhei Salash, public activist from Barysau, has been under arrest since November 2006, as well as the apartment that was inherited by his mother after the recent death of husband, Siarhei’s father. This fact was revealed after soon after the death. Barysau branch of Minsk oblast agency on state registration and land cadastre issued excerpt #371:83/08 from the register on the rights and limitations of rights on isolated premises. This excerpt contains the ban on ‘alienation of the premises’ for both apartments, for the term that ‘has not been determined’. The reason for the ban is ‘another document (police department of Maskouski district executive committee of Minsk) of 4 November 2006 #MG/9 OPR)’.

19.02.2008 State Organs Decrease the Secured Zones of Kurapaty Mass Grave

Anton Astapovich, chairman of the council of the Belarusian voluntary society for protection of the monuments of history and culture, said to BelaPAN: ‘At the end of November 2007 I applied to the Ministry of Culture for permission to familiarize with the scheme of the secured zones of the Kurapaty forest and receiving a copy of this document, because on 20 May 2003 the Belarusian republican scientific center on the issues of historical and cultural heritage had adopted a scheme of the secured zones of the mass grave, which has not been presented to public.

19.02.2008 Zhaleznichenka’s Mother Appeals against His Expulsion from University

On 5 March the court hearings on the suit of Zmitser Zhaleznichenka’s mother against Homel State University will start. On 18 February the judge of the Tsentralny district court of Homel Zhanna Andreichyk listened to the positions of the sides and decided to start the trial after Zmitser receives an answer from the Ministry of Education, to which he had complained against the illegal expulsion.

19.02.2008 Authorities Want to Try Pastor Hancharenka

The pastor of the New Life Church Viachaslau Hancharenka has received a summons from Maskouski district prosecutor’s office of Minsk. On 19 February at 4 p.m. he will meet with the deputy prosecutor Zmitser Zyrianau, who wants to draw up a violation report, because the believers did not let in representatives of the fire service despite the prosecutor’s warrant.

19.02.2008 Entrepreneur Viktar Kryval Sentenced to 15 Days of Jail

Viktar Kryval, activist of the campaign For Free Development of Business, was accused of handing-out anti-state leaflets. Uzda court found him guilty and sentenced to 15 days of jail. Judge V.Verdyzh took the opinion that the leaflets which he had distributed continued calls to hold an unauthorized meeting.

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