A number of Belarusian youth activists have addressed Prosecutor General Ryhor Vasilevich with an open appeal demanding to take under control the investigation of the cases of illegal persecution of opposition youth activists, including the abductions of Young Front members Nasta Palazhanka and Dzianis Karnou in March 2009, and the assaults of Artur Finkevich and Mikita Krasnou. ‘We think that such savagery is absolutely intolerable in Belarus. We ask Prosecutor General to take over the control of the investigation of the crimes and demand to find and punish the persons behind these cowardly and illegal offences,’ says the appeal. The petition was signed by a dozen famous Belarusian opposition leaders, independent journalists and representatives of intelligentsia – Aliaksandr Milinkevich, Aliaksandr Kazulin, Paval Seviarynets, Uladzimer Khalip, Henadz Buraukin, Uladzimer Niakliayeu etc.
News for 29 Apr 2009
29.04.2009 Businessmen apply for registration again
According to www.belaruspartizan.org, the Republican Public Association ‘For the Free Development of Entrepreneurship’ is going to hold a constituent assembly in May. Viktar Harbachou, head of the Ukraine-based Belarusian NGO, says they are going ‘to legalize their relations with the Belarusian government.’ ‘The main objective of the upcoming congress is regular legal activities by the organization in Belarus. We understand that we are out of favour with the regime. Still, we are going to test the so-called ‘liberalization.’ – says Mr.Harbachou.
29.04.2009 National Assembly opposing establishment of public commission for revision of criminal, civil cases
According to BelaPAN news agency, the National Assembly of Belarus has turned down the appeal by some 1,000 citizens urging the Parliament to form a public commission for revision of criminal and civil cases. The appeal was initiated by a number of women who disagreed with the verdicts of their civil cases as well as the criminal cases of their relatives. It stressed that the judiciary system of Belarus occupies a high position in the state system. ‘A judicial mistake may change the lives of many people. However, the Supreme Court and the General Prosecutor’s Office do not always correct such mistakes. There are dozens citizens fighting for a reasonable reply to their appeals concerning groundless and illegal verdicts. The steadiness of judicial mistakes undermines the people’s credibility in the state,’ says the statement.
The monument to Rastsislau Lapitski, a hero of anti-Soviet underground resistance for independence of Belarus was destroyed by vandals near Vileika on the eve of Radonitsa.
The memorial stone was unveiled by civil activists in the fall of 2008 in the village of Krasny Berazhok, where the hero was executed. The stone was blessed by an Orthodox priest from the village of Kasuta, where Lapitski was born.
Apparently, a tractor and a dump truck were used to destroy the monument.
The stone had the following inscription: "RASTSISLAU LAPITSKI (І.ІХ.1928 — 28.Х.1950), a fighter for the indepence of Belarus was executed here. The stone was mounted on a concrete cushion and weighed several tons.
Minsk prosecutor’s office has denied a request of the deputy chairperson of the “Young Front” Nasta Palazhanka and an activist of the organisation Dzyanis Karnou who demanded to find persons who had abducted them and beaten them up.
On March 25 the young people were detained by the unknown who had certificates of Internal Affairs ministry and hid their faces under masks, Radio Svaboda reminds.
Nasta Palazhanka and Dzyanis Karnou were first beaten in a car, and after that the girl was released near the village of Tarasava not far from Minsk, and Karnou was taken to a forest near Dzyarzhynsk. There he was beaten up, his jeans were torn, and he was forced to stand on the snow on his knees. Mobile phones of the Young Front activists were seized.
Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen expects that the Belarusian dictator won’t come to the EU summit to Prague on May 7.
Thus the work of the Eastern Partnership program’s summit won’t be paralyzed, he believes, Radio Svaboda informs.
The Foreign Ministry head hopes that the signal sent by European diplomats to Minsk has reached the Belarusian ruler. As said by him, the invitation received in Minsk has been addressed to Belarus, not to Lukashenka.
“The Netherlands do not welcome Lukashenka’s arrival to Prague,” Verhagen noted.
29.04.2009 Front Line issues statement on refusal to register human rights organisation Nasha Viasna
Front Line is concerned by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus, on 22 April 2009, to maintain the previous decision of the Ministry of Justice not to register the human rights organisation Nasha Viasna (Our spring). Nasha Viasna is the new name of the human rights centre previously known as Viasna (Spring), which was closed down by the Supreme Court following the demand of the Ministry of Justice on 28 November 2003. The human rights center Viasna is one of the most active Belarusian human rights organisations, specialising in particular in the defence, protection and promotion of political and social rights.