News for 6 Aug 2008

06.08.2008 Committee to Protect Journalists urges President Lukashenka to reconsider repressive media law

The Committee to Protect Journalists is troubled to learn that President Alexander Lukashenko has signed a restrictive new media law, which, according to CPJ research, will allow authorities to further restrict press freedom in Belarus.

06.08.2008 Vitsebsk oblast: obstacles to initiative group of Tatsiana Seviarynets

While collecting signatures for oppositional candidate Tatsiana Seviarynets, the members of her initiative group faced different problems. One of them is that the members of the initiative group of the pro-governmental candidate Henadz Hrytskevich lied to the electors that they had the right to sign only for one candidate.

06.08.2008 Supreme Court upholds registration denial to ‘For Freedom’ movement

Today the Supreme Court has ruled to reject the suit of the movement For Freedom on the basis of a technical mistake in the guarantee letter of the organization which agreed to provide legal address for it.

06.08.2008 44 MPs to run for the second time

44 present deputies of the Chamber of Representatives have registered their initiative groups for collection of signatures giving them the opportunity to run for a seat at the Parliament again. The candidacies of two more deputies were nominated by working collectives. This information was made public by the head of the Central Electoral Commission Lidziya Yarmoshyna.

06.08.2008 Babruisk: state media praise pro-governmental candidates

In Babruisk there started hidden agitation for pro-governmental nominees to the Parliament. For instance, the newspaper Babruiskaye Zhyttsio (founded by Babruisk town executive committee) published an interview with the chief engineer of the open stock company Belshyna Uladzimir Karpiak, running at Babruisk Pershamaiskaya electoral district. The interview is quite large and tells about his work, family and hobbies, which looks like electoral advertisement of Karpiak. At the same time, unhidden agitation against democratic and oppositional candidates can be found in the newspaper.

06.08.2008 Baranavichy: anonymous thanks to pro-governmental candidate

In Baranavichy the state newspaper Nash Krai (#91 for 5 August 2008) published another article about general Vankovich, who is a deputy now and intends to run for a seat at the Parliament again. This time it was made on behalf of some Dzmitry Mikhalavich (surname unknown).

06.08.2008 Baranavichy: state media agitate for pro-governmental candidates

No agitation is permitted by the law at the present stage of the electoral campaign. However, the state media often publish materials about pro-governmental candidates.

06.08.2008 Homel police interrogates observer in blast case

The ‘main witness’ in the case of the blast in Minsk was interrogated on Monday. However, democratic activists continue to be summonsed to Savetski district police department of Homel for ‘talks’. On 4 August at 8 pm a police officer phoned to Uladzimir Shytsikau, an observer at electoral district #33. The policeman did not introduce himself, but invited Shytsikau to the police department as a witness in the ‘blast’ case.

06.08.2008 Troubles with collection of signatures in Polatsk region

In Navapolatsk electoral district #25 two members of the initiative group of the member of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada) Ihar Valiayeu were forced to refuse from their membership in the group by pressure at work. Other members of the initiative group were photographed by the police while going out of the house where they were collecting signatures. Then the policemen quickly got into their cars and drove away without offering any explanations. At the same time, some members of the initiative group of I.Antonava told those who signed for her that they had no right to sign in support of more than one candidacy.

06.08.2008 Law ‘On mass media’ adopted

According to the information of the information agencies BelTA and Interfax with reference to the presidential press-service, Alexander Lukashenka has signed the law On mass media. Six months after its official publication the law will come into force. Neither of the agencies called the date when the document was signed.

06.08.2008 Members of Stanislau Bahdankevich’s initiative group beaten

In Minsk Yury Fabisheuski and Siarhei Kastylenka, members of the initiative group for nominating the former head of the National bank Stanislau Bahdankevich a candidate to the parliament were beaten by unidentified persons. The incident took place yesterday during collection of signatures in support of S. Bahdankevich.

06.08.2008 Vitsebsk: new action for boycott of elections

In the run-up to the so-called Parliamentary elections actions under Boycott! title are held all over Belarus.

06.08.2008 Taisiya Kabanchuk dismissed from work

The employment of the activist of the Belarusian Social Democratic party (Hramada) from Babruisk Taisiya Kabanchuk has been terminated.

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