News for 29 Jan 2009

29.01.2009 Vitsebsk activists to protest construction of houses in place of Fascist death camp

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.

29.01.2009 Offender rehabilitation centers to be created in Vitsebsk region

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.

29.01.2009 Babruisk town prosecutor: ‘fingerprinting is a civic duty’

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.’

29.01.2009 Activist of “European Belarus” called in for questioning

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.

29.01.2009 Ukrainian youth NGO hold picket against illegal drafting of Belarusian activists

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.

Youth activist Shyla goes on strike

29.01.2009 Youth activist Shyla goes on strike

Deputy head of the Young Front youth organization Ivan Shyla has reportedly declared a hunger-strike. Shyla says he would stop the strike only after his conscription to the army was reviewed. He also demanded that harassment by the military officials and the Belarusian secret services be immediately stopped. ‘I am determined and self-confident. I have seen much, but these theatrics are something out of the world,’ says Shyla. Ivan Shyla was detained during a search in his apartment on 28 January and subsequently taken to the local military registration and enlistment office where he was declared fit for military service by a medical commission. Now he is awaiting departure for a military unit in Minsk region.

Young activist Khvedaruk goes to jail

29.01.2009 Young activist Khvedaruk goes to jail

On 28 January Zmitser Kvedaruk, activist of the Young Front youth organization, was sentenced to 10 days of imprisonment for participating in the Belarus to Europe action on 1 May 2008. As we reported before, on the same day he was detained by the police and escorted to the local military enlistment and registration office where the activist was informed that he would be called up on 29 January. However, the police took him to Minsk Pershamaiski Borough Police Department where Khvedaruk was told he would have to serve 10 days of imprisonment he failed to serve after the 1 May 2008 action. After that he was taken to the City Detention Center in Akrestsin street.

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