News for 8 Apr 2008
08.04.2008 Chronicle of trial over Katsiaryna Salauyova
About 50 persons came to the court of Polatsk today to support Katsiaryna Salauyova, including the leader of the For Freedom movement Alexander Milinkevich, the co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party Pavel Seviarynets, the politicians Mikalai Statkevich and Viachaslau Statkevich, the entrepreneur Alexander Makayeu, the human rights activists Ales Bialiatski and Valiantsin Stefanovich and the advisor of the US Embassy Jonathan Moore.
08.04.2008 KGB threatens to trade union activists
KGB tries to recruit informers among activists of independent trade unions. The last case was registered in Homel, where an unidentified man who introduced himself as the head of the department of Homel KGB office for protection of the political system met with the juridical inspector of the Belarusain trade union of radio electronic industry Leanid Sudalenka.
The Council of the European Union has extended sanctions against Belarusian officials. Sanctions envisage restrictions for entering the EU territory by Belarusian officials including Alexander Lukashenka, and freezing of their bank accounts. Sanctions were extended after the disbandment of a peaceful rally on Freedom Day in Minsk, and mass crackdown on independent journalists.
Friends! The Belarusian authorities have tightened repression against democratic activists for the first months of 2008. Solemn peaceful demonstration on 25 March, dedicated to proclamation of the Belarusian National Republic’s independence, was broken up violently. Dozens of its participants were beaten up by riot police, more than 100 people were detained.
The 90th anniversary of the proclamation of the Belarusian People’s Republic and the traditional Freedom Day rally dedicated to it were the main events in March. Preparation for Freedom Day started long before the holiday. As early as on 6 February the opposition addressed Minsk city executive committee requiring the official permission for the rally. The address was filed on behalf of the chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front Party, Liavon Barshcheuski, the chairman of the United Civil Party, Anatol Liabedzka, the head of the For Freedom movement, Alexander Milinkevich, and the chairman of the organizing committee of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party Narodnaya Hramada, Mikalai Statkevich. The action participants intended to gather in Yakub Kolas Square near the Belarusian State Philharmonics and march along the Nezalezhnastsi Avenue to Valadarski Street and then continue the procession along Haradzki Val, Maxim Bahdanovich, and Yanka Kupala Streets up to Yanka Kupala Square. The authorities kept their usual position and proposed their own route – from the Academy of Sciences to Banhalor Square. The action organizers did not obey to this requirement of the authorities. On 25 March the Minister of Interior Uladzimir Navumau stated that in the case the rally did not follow the officially proposed route, the police would interrupt the action with the use of physical force and riot gear.