News for February 2009

27.02.2009 Belarusian women demand to stop prosecution of citizens

According to the BelaPAN news agency, over 60 women from across Belarus, convicted for minor offences pertaining to their political activity, have adopted a resolution to the Belarusian authorities urging them to stop criminal prosecution of their compatriots, including the Minsk resident Liudmila Samusenka and Babruisk residents Luidmila Karaulava and Nadzeya Davydava. The former was accused of libel after she addressed the Ministry of the Interior with a request to provide information concerning her personal rights and interests.

Poet Henadz Buraukin speaks in support of Nasha Viasna

27.02.2009 Poet Henadz Buraukin speaks in support of Nasha Viasna

The famous Belarusian poet and translator Henadz Buraukin has commented on the registration of the Nasha Viasna human rights organization. ‘There are human rights activists in every country and every society. Belarus is no exception. Although, on the one hand, the state should first of all maintain the fundamental rights of its citizens as provided by the Constitution, secure their freedoms, on the other hand, it has to make its officials respond for the implementation of their duties in the field of human rights. On the other hand, in case the human rights activity is supported by the society or its part represented by human rights NGOs, watching over the implementation of human rights, finding drawbacks, and working out recommendations for state officials – this is done for the sake of a common cause.

Swedish Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights issues statement on Nasha Viasna registration

27.02.2009 Swedish Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights issues statement on Nasha Viasna registration

The Sweden-based Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights has addressed the Belarusian Minister of Justice Viktar Halavanau, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sirahei Martynau and Deputy head of the Administration of President Lukashenka with a statement concerning the registration of the Nasha Viasna human rights association.

Judge orders two issues of cultural magazine seized and destroyed

27.02.2009 Judge orders two issues of cultural magazine seized and destroyed

Reporters Without Borders condemns yesterday’s decision by judge Tatsiana Miranyuk of a district court in the western city of Brest to order the immediate seizure and destruction of the seventh and eighth issues of the opposition cultural magazine Arche on the grounds that their content was “extremist”.

“We are again confronted by an absurd logic,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The administrative and judicial harassment of Arche since its creation in 1997 is a sad reminder of what went on under Soviet domination. It does not bode well for the progress in press freedom we had been hoping for. We express our support for the magazine’s founder, Andrei Dynko, and its editor, Valer Bulhakau, and we urge the judicial authorities to reconsider this decision.”

Musician Zmitser Vaitsiushkevich joins anti-death penalty campaign

27.02.2009 Musician Zmitser Vaitsiushkevich joins anti-death penalty campaign

The famous Belarusian musician Zmitser Vaitsiushkevich has signed the petition for the abolition of capital punishment and named the main reason for doing that. ‘I am joining the campaign against death penalty in this country due to a number of reasons. The main thing is that the innocent are not killed. I would like to support the petition to the Belarusian authorities, because I think that it is high time to understand who we are, where evil comes from and who has the right to judge. These issues are extremely complicated and simple at a time… I do hope that the innocent are not killed, because that is what we have.’

27.02.2009 Belarusian border guards confiscated laptop from oppositionist

Artur Finkevich, leader of the “Young Belarus” movement, was confiscated his laptop by border guards.

It happened late at night on February 26, when Artur Finkevich was going to Warsaw. According to Radio Svaboda, he was got off the train Warsaw–Minsk.

Border guards searches his things and told Finkevich they took his laptop for a check which would last from 10 days to a month.

Border guards refused to say why they had searched Finkevich’s things. They said they had the right not to disclose certain information.

Artur Finkevich thinks that he is on the list of persons, who must be searched on the border. He has never had such problems before.

27.02.2009 Court recognized forcible draft of Franak Vyachorka “legal”

Minsk city court has upheld the ruling of the court of Savetski district which recognized draft of Franak Vyachorka legal.

The case of Franak Vyachorka was tried by judge Natallya Zhupikava. In September 2003 by her decision she liquidated human rights organisation “Legal assistance to the population”. In October 2003 Natallya Zhupikava prevented parents of students of Yakub Kolas Belarusian Humanities Lyceum from lodging a protest against liquidation of the institution. She denied demands of the parents to conduct the trial in Belarusian.

‘Nasha Viasna’ got no answer from the Ministry of Justice in the due term

26.02.2009 ‘Nasha Viasna’ got no answer from the Ministry of Justice in the due term

Today the human rights activist Uladzimir Labkovich, the legal representative of the interests of founders of the civil human rights association Nasha Viasna, called to the specialist of the Ministry of Justice Alexander Kharyton to ask about the ministry’s decision concerning the registration of the human rights association.

26.02.2009 Brest: court turns down complaint of BSDP ‘Hramada’ against picket ban in Brest

On 25 February Leninski district court of Brest turned down the appeal of Brest city organization of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party Hramada against the ban of the picket against the deterioration of the life standards of the region’s dwellers.

26.02.2009 Assembly of NGOs to take place in Minsk on 6-7 March

The Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs is to take place in Minsk on 6-7 March. More than 300 have been already invited to take part in it. The previous assembly took place in 2004. Many things have changed since that time.

Haradok: Leanid Autukhou has lost the trial, but does not give in

26.02.2009 Haradok: Leanid Autukhou has lost the trial, but does not give in

Haradok district court turned down the lawsuit of Leanid Autukhou against the deputy head of Haradok distirct executive committee for violation of the constitutional right of citizens to peaceful assembly.

Vitsebsk: court justifies human rights activist Shchukin

26.02.2009 Vitsebsk: court justifies human rights activist Shchukin

Vitsebsk oblast court abolished because of absence of the corpus delicti the verdict of Pershamaiski district court according to which Valer Shchukin was to be punished for petty hooliganism.

Will Belarus get another political prisoner?

26.02.2009 Will Belarus get another political prisoner?

On 25 February a court sitting on the criminal case against Yana Paliakova took place at Salihorsk district court. She is charged with violation of article 400, part 2, ‘Knowingly false delation’ that envisages up to five years of imprisonment, saligorsk.org informs.

26.02.2009 Barysau ideologist hinders sale of ‘Borisovskie Novosti’

Barysau ideologist Liudmila Harnak does not let the local entrepreneurs to sell the non-state regional newspaper Borisovskie Novisti.

26.02.2009 Arrested for public opinion poll

Activists of Belarusian opposition were detained by policemen when they were holding a poll among passers-by.

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