News for 22 May 2009

22.05.2009 Human rights activists issue statement on cases of Autukhovich, Liavonau and Asipenka

Statement on the cases of M.Autukhovich, Y.Liavonau and U.Asipenka 22 May 2009 Human rights activists are concerned about the violation of the rights of Mikalai Autukhovich, Yury Liavonau and Uladzimer Asipenka, who are kept under arrest for their alleged involvement in the arson facts in Vaukavysk in 2004. Human rights activists stress that the periods of the preliminary investigation are dragged out. The businessmen have been in a pre-trial detention center since February 2009. Since then the investigation has been repeatedly prolonged. Meanwhile, the investigators fail to carry out any investigative actions. Thus, the legality of their imprisonment seems absolutely groundless.

22.05.2009 Zhanna Litvina says authorities keep refusing to do anything to do with mass media

During the 7th congress of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, taking place in Minsk, its head Zhanna Litvina said the society, being deprived of information, is doomed to economic, political and social crisis. According to Mrs.Litvina, free access to information keeps being the main problem of contemporary Belarusian journalism. ‘The authorities keep refusing to do anything to do with journalists, which is favoured by the Belarusian law on state service, obliging officials to coordinate any information to be provided to journalists with their superior officers.

22.05.2009 Autukhovich deprived of drinking water

Today several human activists again tried to bring a parcel with drinking water to Mikalai Autukhovich, who is kept under arrest at Minsk pre-trial detention center #1. The administration of the prison refused to accept it. Mr.Autukhovich who has a bad liver problem and has been on a hunger-strike for over a month, is not allowed to use pure drinking water. ‘They said they do not accept any parcels with drinking water,’ said human rights activist Valiantsin Stefanovich.

22.05.2009 Navapolatsk human rights activist insists on initiating criminal case for fomenting national hatred

Zmitser Salauyou, human rights activist from the town of Navapolatsk, has lodged another complaint with Navapolatsk town prosecutor’s office, requesting to initiate a criminal prosecution for fomenting national hatred and disorderly conduct of an unknown group of neo-Nazis. The activist says the offenders have repeatedly smeared houses with pro-Fascist slogans and insignia. It his third attempt to draw attention to the facts, where Mr.Slauyou provides a number of recent facts indicating to the group’s activities. ‘Neo-Nazi groups keep attacking informal youth. On 9 May they attacked A.Kucharenka, and threatened him with violence,’ says Mr.Slauyou.

22.05.2009 Minors interrogated by police over Minsk blast

According to www.mfront.net, another under-aged Young Front activist has been called in for interrogation over the explosion in downtown Minsk on 4 July 2008. ‘I think the police are trying to fingerprint me in this way, just like they did with other representatives of the pro-democratic movement. The police together with the secret services are using the 4 July explosion as an opportunity to maintain illegal activities against the opposition’, says activist Stas Stesik. It is a second writ received by the teenager over the past week.

22.05.2009 Court turns down claim by BPF Hrodna office

Hrodna Regional Court has considered the complaint against the decision by the Ministry of Justice to deny registration to the Belarusian Popular Front’s Hrodna Regional Office. The interests of the party were represented by the BPF’s central office senior secretary Uladzimer Labkovich and member of the party’s Soim Yury Chavusau. The trial was bore a strong resemblance to the one held a few hours before, when similar complaint by the BPF ‘Adradzhennie’ was considered.

22.05.2009 Association of Political Prisoners founded in Belarus

A number of well-known Belarusian social and public leaders withstand political repressions of the authorities.

It has been stated by the ex-candidate for presidency in Belarus, a former political prisoner Alyaksandr Kazulin, the web-source kozylin.com informs.

Kazulin announced foundation of the new association during a reception dedicated to the 55th anniversary of Radio Svaboda and presentation of the book “One day of political prisoner”, created by journalists of this radio station. Many well-known people of Belarus voted for creation of the association. In different time after Lukashenka’s coming to power, were imprisoned, and many like Alyaksandr Kazulin were recognized prisoners of conscience by international human rights organisations.

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