News for 14 Apr 2008

14.04.2008 Human rights activist addresses president

Human rights activist Mikalai Kalinin addressed Lukashenka complaining against the State Department on Religious and National Affairs officials. He claims he had addressed the Department with a request to clarify the situation with the Gypsy minority in Belarus and received an evading reply saying he has to address a non-governmental body.

14.04.2008 Young Front members detained

A number of Salihorsk activists were detained on April 11 for supporting the teenagers detained during the March 25 and March 2 actions in Salihorsk and Minsk. As a result, Ivan Shyla and Khrystsina Samoilava were fined 1,050,000 roubles each, and Andrus Tychyna was fined 700,000 roubles. The activists say they are going to appeal the verdict.

14.04.2008 UCPB Hrodna office closed down

Hrodna fire inspection officials say UCPB’s office cannot seat more than 15 persons due to fire safety reasons. UCPB Hrodna office will only be able to hold mass meetings after ‘all recommendations by the fire inspection are implemented’. At the same time, Yury Istomin, head of the office, says city authorities do not want large amounts of people, especially teenagers, to gather for political and cultural events.

14.04.2008 Journalist Shobin addresses Prosecutor’s office

The journalists that suffered from searches by the KGB on March 27 and 28 have filed a number of complaints with the Prosecutor’s office. One of them, BAJ Babruisk member Andrei Shobin, is going to appeal against the searches and regain his personal things that were confiscated.

14.04.2008 Polish citizens released

Polish citizens Anzelika Borys and Ihar Bancar detained on April 13 by Belarusian border guard officers were finally released. According to Aliaksandr Tsishchanka, head of Belarusian State Border Troops Committee’s press-service, said the activists had been detained for breaking the rules of entering the border zone. They were only released thanks to Polish vice-consul Marcin Kracinski’s personal involvement in the case.

14.04.2008 PACE to hear Belarus case

The spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is due to start in Strasbourg today. Among other issues, it will consider a report on the system of criminal justice in Belarus.

14.04.2008 Opposition bus stopped

On April 13 Lida police officers stopped a bus with a number of opposition leaders, musicians and other people going to Hrodna to take part in a series of culture and political events, including presentation of the United Democratic Forces of Belarus’ web-site www.udfb.org.

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