News for 7 Aug 2008

07.08.2008 Vitsebsk: police inspector persecuted for intention to run for Parliament

Captain Andrei Levinau, 36-year-old local police inspector of Vitsebsk district police department, stated his intention to run for the parliament. This became a surprise not only for the authorities but also for the opposition, because till lately this officer had nothing to do with politics.

07.08.2008 Necessary number of signatures collected for 36 candidates from ‘European list’

The European Coalition includes the organizing committees of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Narodnaya Hramada) and the Party of Freedom and Progress and the international NGO Young Front which has official registration in Czech.

07.08.2008 Vitsebsk: journalists are interrogated in criminal case on threat letters from Russian neo-Nazi

On 7 August an independent journalist Aliona Stsiapanava was summonsed to the KGB and interrogated as a witness on a criminal case that had been brought on threat letters sent by activists of an unregistered Russian neo-Nazi organization RNE (Russian National Unity). The investigator asked Stsiapanava where and when she had seen such letters and what human rights organizations she knew.

07.08.2008 Mazyr: person nominated to electoral commission without real assembly of working collective

When the list of members of Mazyr district electoral commission #42 was published it was found out that one of its members, Ivan Navitski (deputy director on ideology of the open stock company Belaruscable) was not really nominated by the working collective of this enterprise, as such an assembly had not been collected.

07.08.2008 Vendors get fined for signatures

In Haradok the workers of certain enterprises have their passports taken away for a week, so that they could not sign for a democratic candidate.

07.08.2008 Civil case brought against Ivan Kruk

A civil case has been brought against Ivan Kruk, potential candidate at Iuye electoral district. The case was brought on the suit of the housing economy of Astravets for protection of honor and dignity. On 5 August Mr. Kruk received a writ from Smarhon district court, inviting him to the preliminary court sitting, appointed on 12 August.

07.08.2008 Salihorsk: administrative resource used to collect signatures for Yauhen Abalenski

The elector Tatsiana Marholina informed the observer of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Mikalai Lazarevich that the workers of the Shakhtaspetsstroy trust had been ordered to take their passports to work so that their signatures for the candidacy of Yauhen Abalenski could be collected. Yauhen Abalenski is a deputy of Minsk oblast Soviet of deputies. His initiative group was registered by district electoral commission #75.

07.08.2008 Hrodna: district electoral commission #52 sees no necessity to work

Zmitser Slutski, an independent observer registered at Hrodna northern electoral district #52, informs that after the registration of the initiative groups district electoral commission #52 has not gathered a single time. To his everyday telephone calls he was answered that the commission would not gather for any assemblies on that day. Today he has paid a visit to the head of the commission, who informed him that the commission didn’t see any need to gather.

07.08.2008 Supreme Court does not grant Zmitser Vinahradau’s appeal

11 to 12 pm on 6 August the Supreme Court considered an appeal against the actions of Vileika district electoral commission #64 and the central electoral commission of Belarus. The appeal was filed by nine members of the initiative group of Zmitser Vinahradau, which was not registered and concerned the refusal of the electoral commission to register the group.

07.08.2008 Hrodna: signatures without passport data are collected for pro-governmental candidate

In Hrodna northern electoral district #51 Aleh Kalinkou, a member of the initiative group of the oppositional candidate Yaraslau Ramanchuk, noticed a group of youngsters collecting signatures in the street without asking for people’s passports.

07.08.2008 Brest KGB considers actions towards Alexander Mekh legal

On 6 August a potential candidate at the parliamentary elections, the head of Kobryn town organization of the Belarusian Popular Front Party Alexander Mekh received an answer to his complaint to the KGB.

07.08.2008 Can members of electoral commission use laptops?

Yury Meliashkevich, the member of Yaseninskaya district electoral commission #100, activist of the For Freedom movement has addressed the Central Electoral Commission with an inquiry concerning the prohibition on use of laptops to members of his commission.

07.08.2008 Barysau: MP’s aide helps collecting signatures in working time

As Ihar Lednik, the head of the initiative group of Anatol Bukas (editor of the non-state newspaper Barysauskiya Naviny) many citizens of Barysau refuse to give his signatures in support of Bukas because that had already signed for the candidacy of Viktar Huminski at work.

07.08.2008 Brest oblast: oppositionists still interrogated in ‘Minsk blast’ case

When Alexander Chorny, the first secretary of Kobryn town committee of the Party of Communists of Belarusian, signed out of the hospital he was visited by police officers who brought a ‘questioning blank’ with them.

07.08.2008 Minsk: district electoral commissions have ‘consultants’ at district administrations

Representatives of district executive committees of Minsk receive ‘consultations’ from state authorities resulting in lawless restriction of observers’ rights.

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