‘The case of Nasha Viasna is one of the most significant issues that could become an evidence of positive changes in the field of the freedom of association in Belarus. Viasna was closed down along with hundreds of other Belarusian NGOs as a result of a mass liquidation campaign by the Ministry of Justice. It was later supported by the UN Human Rights Committee and the EU Parliament, who stress the significance of the matter for the reform of the Belarusian civil society. So I hope that the Belarusian authorities will have the foresight to abide by the law and grant registration the Nasha Viasna human rights organization, along with other NGOs, still lacking official status.’
News for January 2009
Vorsha meat-preserving factory’s general director demands weekly “Belaruski chas” to disprove article “Hashed beef as a wage”. The newspaper editorial office has made a statement on this occasion. “In the end of January rumours that Vorsha meat-preserving factory gives wages in the form of canned meat. But when our author Liudmila Marshalovich sent the ready article, it has been found out that there were no problems in that: wage in the form of money hasn’t been cancelled, and canned meat was given to those who wanted that, according to an agreement concluded by the enterprise. There were no violations or infringements of workers’ rights. And we published this information like that,” journalists of “Belarusiki chas” write.
The Belarusian Youth Movement of America calls upon the Belarusians of the USA, Canada and other countries to support the youth activists Ivan Shyla, Franak Viachorka and Zmitser Khvedaruk in their struggle against the politically motivated conscriptions to the Belarusian army and hold a number of actions in front of Belarusian embassies in various countries of the world. The campaign will include a picket in front of the UN headquarters in New-York on 7 February.
Zinaida Bandarenka, Honoured artist of Belarus, says the state should implement its humanistic commitments de-facto. ‘I think that there should be no executions in the Christian Belarus. Man is the work of God and therefore he should live. In case he commits a brutal crime, he is sure to be punished after death. Let alone the numerous mistakes of court. We will never forget the notorious Vitsebsk case. We are so often told that we are a civilized state, so we should be civilized and abolish capital punishment in Belarus.’
30.01.2009 Liabedzka’s property to be confiscated
According to BelaPAN, the United Civil Party leader Anatol Liabedzka has received a notice saying that his property would be distrained on 2 February by Minsk Tsentralny Borough Court executors. The notice does not name any reasons for the confiscation. However, Liabedzka thinks this is connected with the 14 October 2007 European March, when he, as one of the organizers of the action, was fined BYR 2,100,000.
A number of Vitsebsk public activists are going to support the campaign against the construction of a housing area on the location of a WWII concentration camp, which claimed 120,000 lives. The campaign was initiated by surviving ex-victims of the 5th Regiment death camp, located on the outskirts of the town.
According to Vitsebsk regional prosecutor Henadz Dysko, over 50% of crimes in the region are committed by ex-convicts. He says it is not only because of their propensity to break the law, but due to certain social aspects as well. Going at large, offenders sometimes cannot find a job or even do not have a place to live. Employers do not usually welcome such workers. Besides, the amount of released convicts is much larger that the number of vacancies. In 2008 only 250 working places were reserved for them – meanwhile over 2,000 people were released last year.
According to Anatol Sanantsenka, editor-in-chief of the Babruiski kurier independent newspaper, a letter by Babruisk Leninski borough prosecutor’s office in reply to his complaint states that ‘Fingerprinting is a voluntary examination aimed at assisting the investigation in detecting the crime and a ‘civic duty’ which you refused to do. However you will not be prosecuted under existing legislation.’
Palina Dzyakava, activist of the civil campaign “European Belarus”, is called in the Tsentralny district militia department for questioning.
A summons, the girl has received today morning, says she must come for questioning at 9.00 a.m. January 30 as a witness in a criminal case.
As Dzyakava said, for the last two months, she has been receiving telephone calls from different people, who introduced themselves as militia officers and demanded that she go to the Tsentralny district militia department of to the Frunzenski district militia department. When she asked to send her a summons, they threatened and insulted her.
The Ukrainian youth union Nasha Ukraina held a picket in front of the Belarusian embassy to Kiev urging the Belarusian authorities to stop political persecution of Belarusian civil activists, the illegal conscription to the army of Franak Viachoka in particular.