News for April 2008

25.04.2008 Maria Tulzhankova received 7 days of jail

On April 25th navabelitski court of Homel heard the case against Maria Tulzhankova. Judge Aleh Kharoshka sentenced the participant of the historical tour around Homel to 7 days of jail.

Earlier judge Aleh Kharoshka tried other participants ofteh historical tour dedicated to the anniversary of the Belarusian Democratic Republic. He sentenced Sviataslau Shapavalau to 10 days of jail, Aliaksandar Protska – to 7 days of jail, and pensioner Uladzimir Nepomniashchy – to 15 days of jail. Other participants of the tour were fined: Ivan Adamenka – 20 basic units, Zmitser Kutasau and journalist Tatsiana Bublikava – 15 basic units each.

Let us remind the readers, on March 23rd, about 20 people with white and red balloons walked around the places related to the life of Paluta badunova, minister of the Belarusian Democratic Republic. The police videotaped the tour, and drew up reports against 8 people for violation of the order of organizing mass events.

25.04.2008 Mikalai Rasiuk detained in Mahiliou

Today Mahiliou police detained activist of the Social Democratic Party Hramada Mikalai Rasiuk. Rasiuk is a migrant from the territories contaminated after the Chernobyl disaster.

Recently he applied to Mahiliou city executive committee with the request to speak at the official rally dedicated to the 22nd anniversary of Chernobyl disaster. He was promised about 5 minutes to make a short speech. Mikalai Rasiuk wanted to speak against building of the new nuclear power plant. However, the police detained the democratic activist on his way to the rally. The police searched his belongings and found books by Sviatlana Aleksiyevich and a white-red-white scarf in his bag. Besides that, Mikalai Rasiuk was holding a wreath, which ribbons read: “From the United Democratic Opposition of Mahiliou city”.

The police took Rasiuk to a police station and let him go when the rally was over. The policemen did not explain the reason of the detention. Rasiuk believes that they wanted to prevent him from saying his speech.

25.04.2008 Siarhei Tryfanau detained in Homel

The democratic activist was traveling on business, and could not be present in court for the hearing of an administrative case against him. When he returned he was immediately detained by police and taken to police station. The activist will stay behind bars until the trial.

The police drew up reports of administrative offence under Article 23.34 (Violation of the order of organizing mass events) on participants of the historical tour dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Belarusian Democratic Republic. Seven people have already been tried, four of them were sentenced to 7-15 days of jail, and three were fined from 15 to 20 basic units. Siarhei Tryfanau is the last person who is to be tried on these charges.

25.04.2008 Protestant pastor Hancharenka fined again

On April 25th Maskouski court judge Uladzimir Audzeyenka recognized pastor of the “New Life” Church Viachaslau Hancharenka guilty of violation of Article 9.10 of the Administrative Code (Violation of the legislation about elections, referenda, about recalling of citizens and implementation of the right of legislative initiative of citizens). The pastor was fined 40 basic units (about 700 US dollars).

24.04.2008 Siarhei Parsiukevich sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment

On April 23rd Maskouski court of Minsk made a sentence to the leader of Vitebsk entrepreneurs Siarhei Parsiukevich. Judge Uladzimir Audzeyenka found him guilty of committing of an offence under Article 364 of the Criminal Code (“Violence or a threat of violence towards a police officer”). Parsiukevich was sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment. Parsiukevich will also have to pay 1.1 million BYR to police officer Dulub.

When the verdict was announced, Parsiukevich said: “This is a political reprisal. Please, don’t leave my family without support!”

23.04.2008 Homel journalist tried for red coat and white balloons.

Pro-democratic activists Ivan Adamenka and Dzmitry Kutasau, and journalist Tatsiana Bublikava, were fined for participation in a tour dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Belarusian Democratic Republic. They received fines from 525, 000 to 700, 000 BYR.

Activists Aliaksandar Pratsko and Sviataslau Shapavalau will spend 7 and 10 days in jail, respectively. They were all found guilty of participation in a street demonstration and a picket. The police demonstrated a video as a proof of their participation.

23.04.2008 Trial over entrepreneur Parsiukevich to continue today

Maskouski court of Minsk started hearing the case against Vitebsk entrepreneur Siarhei Parsiukevich on April 22nd. Parsiukevich is accused of allegedly attacking and beating a policeman while serving an administrative arrest in Akrestsina jail. During the first day of the trial the judge heard the testimony from the alleged victim and the defendant, and two witnesses from the victim. The entrepreneur faces up to 6 years of imprisonment.

Today the hearing will continue at noon. The judge will start from listening to testimony of the defendant’s witnesses.

23.04.2008 Eight new political prisoners

Verdict for participants of the “case of the 14” was announced yesterday:

Andrei Kim was sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment; Uladzimir Siarheyeu and Anton Koipish will pay fines of 3.5 million BYR; and the rest 7 people received 2 years of restricted prison without sending them to penitentiary institutions.

22.04.2008 Police seize leaflets for Chernobyl March

On April 21st Frunzenski district police seized 30,000 leaflets for the Chernobyl March, permitted by the authorities.

Activists of the Movement for Freedom were detained for stickers which invited citizens to join the march. Frunzenski district police drew up report about seizure of the printed materials despite the fact that the action was permitted by the authorities. According to the police, the stickers were seized for checking the publisher of the materials.

22.04.2008 Paval Seviarynets Tried

Maskouski court of Minsk began trial over youth activist Pavel Seviarynets.

Former leader of Young Front and political prisoner Paval Seviarynets is charged with allegedly illegal collection of 50, 000 signatures under the petition to improve laws that regulate registration and activity of religious associations.

22.04.2008 Members of Vitebsk BPF Youth fail to get recommendations for university

On April 21st youth activists of BPF party Aliaksandar Kuzniatsou, Yulia Mikhailava, and Viktoria and Christina Chyzh went for an interview for university entrants who plan to study law in Vitebsk pedagogical university. None of the BPF Youth members received recommendations.

“We were asked why we want to become lawyers, -- Aliaksandar Kuzniatsou, leader of local BPF Youth, says. – We said we were concerned about human rights violations in Belarus, politically-motivated arrests, and persecutions of students. They told us, we would not receive recommendations. That proves, that people dissenting with the “general” opinion are not even allowed to take entrance exams”.

22.04.2008 Minsk city executive committee changes the route proposed by Chernobyl March organizers

On April 21st the negotiation between the applicants for permission for Chernobyl March and the authorities took place. The authorities were represented by Minsk city executive committee official Henadz Kurbeka, prosecutor Aliaksei Stuk, and deputy head of public safety department Melnik.

21.04.2008 Court to announce verdict on the “case against the 14” tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Today Centralny court of Minsk continued to consider the criminal case against the democratic youth activists charged with offence under Article 342 part 2 of the Criminal Code – “Organizing or active participation in group actions that seriously violate the public order”. The court heard the last pleas of the defendants. The verdict will be announced on April 22nd, at 11 a.m. The prosecutor demanded to sentence Andrei Kim, activist of the youth group Initsyatyva, also accused under Art. 364 of the Criminal Code (“Violence or a threat of violence towards a policeman”) to 2 years of imprisonment. He also asked to punish Aliaksei Bondar, Artsiom Dubski, and Mikhail Pashkevich with 2 years of restriction of freedom; and others – with 2.5 years of correctional labor without sending them to penitentiary institutions.

Also, on April 22nd Maskouski court of Minsk will begin trial over the leader of Vitebsk entrepreneurs Siarhei Parsiukevich.

21.04.2008 Prosecutor demands two years of imprisonment for Kim

Prosecutor demanded to punish Andrei Kim with two years of imprisonment, youth activists M. Pashkevich, A. Dubski, and A. Bondar – to 2.5 of freedom restriction (open type prison), and others –with two years of correctional work without sending them to penitentiary institutions. Lawyer of Tatsiana Tsishkevich Alexander Haliyeu filed a petition to release the girl without any punishment.

18.04.2008 Economic University administration persist in expelling Atakulava

The administration of the Belarusian State Economic University is likely to expel youth activist Ludmila Atakulava. During a special meeting of the university administration, the student was labeled as ‘opposing society’. The final decision will be taken in the near future.

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