News for March 2008

31.03.2008 “They prepared you well in PBF…” or How college administration harasses youth activists

One week before the Freedom Day an extraordinary meeting took place in a dormitory of Minsk State Technological College. Deputy director for upbringing Natalia Shapavalava, social pedagogue of the college, and unknown official of the ideological department of Savetski district administration met for one reason: in one of the dormitory rooms several white-red-white flags, made by the students, were found. An immediate investigation of the “incident” began.

31.03.2008 Criminal case against entrepreneurs’ rally participants sent to court

The criminal case started by the prosecutor’s office against participants of the entrepreneurs’ rally on January 10th, has just been sent to Centralny court of Minsk.

31.03.2008 Support Andrei Kim!

On April 1st, 2 p.m. Centralny court of Minsk will begin trial over the youth civic activist Andrei Kim. Andrei Kim, 22, member of the “Initiative” group, is charged with “violence or threat of violence against police officer” (Article 364 of the Criminal Code). Now Andrei Kim, 22, faces up to 6 years of imprisonment (Article 364 of the Criminal Code).

28.03.2008 International human rights organizations condemn the arrests and brutal attacks by riot police of peaceful demonstrators in Minsk

Statement: The Human Rights House Foundation, the Rafto Foundation, Norwegian PEN, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and The Norwegian Union of Journalist condemn the arrests and brutal attacks by riot police of peaceful demonstrators in Minsk.

28.03.2008 Trial over human rights defender Paval Levinau postponed to April 3rd

Pershamaiski court of Vitebsk began the trial over human rights defender Paval Levinau. Levinau was detained on March 27th when he was performing his work of a human rights defender. Despite the bad health condition of Paval Levinau, who had to call for ambulance yesterday, judge Alena Zhuk decided to again call for a doctor, and postpone the trial to April 3rd.

28.03.2008 Katsiaryna Salauyova – another victim of the Belarusian regime

statement of the Human Rights Center "Viasna"

28.03.2008 Open letter to the Belarusian authorities

The Human Rights Center “Viasna” and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) issue joint statement demanding to stop persecution of Katsiaryna Salauyova

28.03.2008 Young Front member Andrus Tsianiuta goes on hunger strike in jail

Today one of the leaders of Belarusian Christian Democratic movement Paval Seviarynets received a phone call (!) from Andrus Tsianiuta, head of Homel Young Front. Tsianiuta was calling from jail, and said he continued his hunger strike protesting against illegal detention.

28.03.2008 Journalist Barshcheuski summoned to KGB for interrogation

Today at 10 a.m. Barshcheuski was summoned to the regional department of KGB to senior investigator Ivan Maskaliou, who searched his apartment yesterday. For over an hour Barshcheuski insisted that human rights defender and journalist valer Shchukin could be present during the interrogation as his representative.

28.03.2008 Zhytkavichy: Police detain Aliaksandar Bandziuk

In the morning Zhytkavichy police detained Aliaksandar Bandziuk, activist of the youth organization Civic Forum, reports civic activist in Homel Piotr Kuzniatsou.

Kuzniatsou says, oppsition printed materials were spread in Zhytkavichy before March 25th. For some reason the police think Aliaksandar Bandziuk was the person who did that.

28.03.2008 Human rights defender demands to prosecute officials responsible for violation of constitutional rights of citizens

Mazyr human rights defender Uladzimer Tseliapun complained to Mazyr district prosecutor’s office about the actions of officials who had violated the constitutional rights of citizens.

27.03.2008 In Vitebsk human rights defender Paval levinau detained

Member of Belarusian Helsinki Committee Paval Levinau was preventively detained near the apartment building of journalist Aleh Barshcheuski. KGB searched Barshcheuski’s apartment. Paval Levinau arrived soon after the beginning of the search and volunteered to be a witness. Instead, the policemen accused the human rights defender of usage of foul language and detained him. Now Levinau is at kastrychnitski police department of Vitebsk.

27.03.2008 Babruisk journalist Andrei Shobin detained after search

KGB representatives searched the private apartment of Babruisk journalist Andrei Shobin. The search was carried out within the framework of the criminal case instigated under Article 367 of the Criminal Code – “Libel against the President of the Republic of Belarus”. As a result of the search all computer equipment and information carriers, including diskettes and video tapes, were confiscated. According to Babruisk human rights defenders, Shobin was detained and will be interrogated as a witness in the case.

27.03.2008 NGO offices searched

Following the searches at the journalists’ apartments, the police and KGB began searches in the offices of NGOs and political parties. The human rights center “Viasna” found out, in Hrodna the law-enforcement bodies are searching the offices of BPF Party and Pahonia NGO. Mahiliou human rights defenders reports, local KGB surrounded the office of civic initiatives “The Circle of Friends”. In Baranavichy the police have just finished a search at the private apartment of Ales Bely, deputy editor-in-chief of Intexpress independent newspaper. They confiscated the system unit of his computer. In Brest the apartment of journalist Natalia Chukhno is being searched.

27.03.2008 Yulia Kotskaya detained in Minsk

In Minsk Yulia Kotskaya, a journalist from Hrodna, is detained. She used to work with newspaper Pahonia, the office of which is now being searched in Hrodna. KGB agents are taking Yulia for interrogation to Kamsamolskaya Street, 30

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