News for 1 Aug 2008
01.08.2008 Elections are coming near, the pressure on civil society representatives increases
With nearing of the elections the pressurization of participation of the electoral campaign and democratic activists from the side of law machinery and tax inspections increases.
01.08.2008 Trade union leaders are interrogated in the case of 4 July blast
Siarhei Antusevich, representative of the primary organization of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BITU) at Hrodna-Azot open company, and Anatol Khotska, BITU representative in Hrodna oblast, were interrogated by Hrodna oblast KGB department. The trade union activists were asked to explain where they were in the night of 3-4 July. The KGB officers also proposed that the activists gave their fingerprints and asked whether they knew how to make bombs.
01.08.2008 Smarhon: KGB interrogates former deputy head of BPF Youth’s Smarhon branch
On 31 July Vadzim Zharomski, former deputy head of Smarhon branch of the BPF Youth, was taken away from work and guarded to Smarhon KGB department. There he was made to give explanations concerning the blast which had taken place on 4 July. Then Zharomski was fingerprinted at the police department.
01.08.2008 Journalist from Lida gets fingerprinted
On 30 July Stanislau Sudnik, editor of Nasha Slova newspaper, was summonsed to Lida KGB department. There he was asked usual questions about the 4 July blast in Minsk and fingerprinted.
01.08.2008 Aleh Hulak: procedure of complaining is too tough
On 31 July the Central Electoral Commission of Belarus considered the complaints against the refusals to register the initiative groups on nomination of candidates by collection of signatures. The CEC considered in essence only three out of the ten complaints which had been filed to it.
01.08.2008 US Department of State is concerned with closed trial of Emanuel Zeltser
The US Department of State is disappointed with the fact that the trial of the American lawyer Emanuel Zetser is closed and representatives of the American Embassy in Minsk have no possibility to attend it.
01.08.2008 Police interrogate members of Vasil Paliakou’s initiative group concerning Minsk blast
On 30-31 July Natallia Shchukina and Tatsiana Tserashkova, member of the initiative group of Vasil Paliakou, were summonsed to Savetski district police department of Minsk by a telephone call. A police officer who did not introduce himself told them to come to the police department. He offered no explanations either.
01.08.2008 Mahiliou: collectors of signatures for Ihar Kavalenka are not let in hostel
Collectors of signatures for Ihar Kavalenka, head of the blood donors’ NGO Drop of Life, were not let in the hostel of the Magatex enterprise in Mahiliou, Bialinski Street 48. The janitor explained it with the official order to collect signatures for another person.
01.08.2008 Horki: state newspaper media agitates for pro-governmental candidate
An article Active Faze of the Campaign, dedicated to the elections to the Chamber of Representatives, was published in Leninski Shliakh newspaper for 26 July 2008. The article informs the readers about the campaign’s schedule. A separate paragraph, in bold font, was dedicated to the pro-governmental pretender to candidate, Tatsiana Asmalouskaya, and her meeting with the working collective of Ausianka enterprise on last Tuesday. As a result of this meeting the working collective supported Asmalouskaya and nominated her candidacy to the Chamber of Representatives at Horki electoral district #86.
01.08.2008 Khoiniki: collection of signatures takes place with violations of the electoral law
On 31 July Leanid Sudalenka, member of the United Civil Party, addressed in writing the head of Khoiniki district electoral commission, asking to conduct a check-up on the facts of gross violations of the electoral law by those who collected signatures for the candidacy of H.Dashkevich, advisor of the head of Homel oblast executive committee.
01.08.2008 Svetlahorsk: teachers are forcibly included in electoral commissions
A teacher from Salihorsk who did not want her name to be mentioned, told how the electoral commissions were formed there. ‘Piatro Kulakouski, master of our gymnasium, summonsed the teachers one by one and told them he included them in the electoral commissions. Most of the teachers are women who do not want to participate in any commissions. When they tried to refuse, he reminded them that it would be taken into consideration when the question of prolonging the working contracts to them was considered.’
01.08.2008 Baranavichy: state media start early agitation for deputy Vankovich
Recently almost all mass media of Baranavichy have started publishing frequent articles about the activities of Anatol Vankovich, deputy of the Chamber of Representatives. Mr. Vankovich intends to run for this position for the second time already. Meanwhile, the Electoral Code permits agitation only after the end of candidates’ registration.
01.08.2008 Sviatlana Lapitskaya withdraws her candidacy
Member of the Belarusian Popular Front party Sviatlana Lapitskaya withdrew her candidacy in the office of the Zhodzina district electoral commission and refused to register an initiative group. Lapitskaya called on everyone to express distrust to the Central Electoral Commission, the current regime and not to participate in the voting.