News for 17 Jan 2009

17.01.2009 OSCE ODIHR mission to visit Minsk in January

According to head of the Central Electoral Commission Mikalai Lazavik, an OSCE ODIHR mission is planning to visit Belarus in late January following an official invitation by the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued on 23 December 2008. They are to meet with representatives of the Commission on 22 January. ‘We are looking forwards to learning more about the ODIHR representatives and discussing opinions concerning the Belarusian electoral legislation,’ said Mr.Lazavik. The mission is to continue dialogue for the improvement of the Belarusian electoral legislation and law-enforcement policy.

17.01.2009 Intex-press newspaper denied right to official distribution

The Brest-based independent newspaper Intex-press has received another refusal to be distributed in the state-owned Brestoblsoyuzpechat network. In his letter of 12 January, vice-head of Brestoblsoyuzpechat T.Zinevich said the contract would not continue contract with the newspaper due to ‘network overload and under Article 391 of the Civil Code of Belarus’.

17.01.2009 Solidarity Day: Finkevich and Kastylenka detained

On 16 January, shortly after the end of a solidarity action plainclothes riot police officers detained leader of the Young Belarus movement Artur Finkevich and a YB activist Siarhei Kastylenka. The activists were distributing leaflets containing a list of kidnapped Belarusian journalists and politicians.

17.01.2009 Pro-dem NGOs Assembly to be held in Minsk

The assembly is due to be held on the premises of the Minsk-based International Education Centre (IBB) on 6-7 March 2009. On the same day the members of the organizing committee (Siarhei Matskevich, Barys Zvozskau and Alena Valynets) also had a meeting with the first secretary of the German embassy to Belarus Dr. MatthiasBiermann.

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