News for 17 Aug 2009

Relatives of missing Belarusians demand report from Prosecutor General

17.08.2009 Relatives of missing Belarusians demand report from Prosecutor General

During a special press-conference on 17 August, the wife of Viktar Hanchar together with the mother of Dzmitry Zavadski declared that the relatives of the missing persons demand an international investigation of the ‘disappearances.’ According to Zinaida Hanchar, they have sent 6 addresses to Belarusian Prosecutor General Ryhor Vasilevich, PACE, and a number of world top-leaders – Dmitry Medvedev, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel. ‘Belarusian officials have mentioned either the Russian or the German clue, and even the commercial character of the crimes. However, it is absolutely obvious that all this is nothing but an effort to divert attention from the actual reasons for the kidnapping of the famous Belarusians,’ says the address.

Minsk City Court denies amnesty to Ales Straltsou

17.08.2009 Minsk City Court denies amnesty to Ales Straltsou

According to an official letter signed by Judge V.Putsila, Minsk City Court has turned down the claim by Ales Straltsou, one of the accused in the ‘case of 14’, against the verdict by Minsk Tsentralny Court of 15 June 2009. The verdict reduced the punishment Mr.Straltsou must have been released from under the Law on Amnesty. ‘Under Article 21 of the Law on Amnesty of 5 May 2009, the application of amnesty to persons convicted to restraint of liberty without sending them to an open type institution as a result of a valid judgment, are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior’, says the letter. Meanwhile, Belarusian human rights activists have repeatedly called upon the authorities to grant a prompt and unambiguous amnesty to all the participants of the ‘process of 14’ and stresses that the issue has not been attended to properly.

17.08.2009 Correspondent of Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita got warning

Andrzej Pisalnik, a correspondent of Rzeczpospolita in Belarus, got an official warning for an “intention to spread newspapers without imprints”.

As Radio Svaboda reports, the journalist got a official warning from prosecutors for the fact copies of Magazyn Polski na Uchodzstwie and newspaper Glos znad Niemna had been found in his car and confiscated by militia in Shchuchyn in June. According to prosecutors, he allegedly was going to spread them illegally.

Russian journalists arrested and deported from Belarus

17.08.2009 Russian journalists arrested and deported from Belarus

An NTV film crew was shooting a film in Minsk about the disappeared politicians.

Aleksey Malkov and Yury Babenko were detained on August 14 in the hotel of the International Education Center (IBB) where they had stayed.

As the website www.charter97.org learnt that officers of secret services in mufti got the journalists out of the room at 7:00 p.m. The people signed Malkov and Babenko out. According to the preliminary information, the journalists were guarded to the Maskouski district militia department.

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