News for February 2010

26.02.2010 No advertising on elections in Homel region

The municipal authorities of a number of major towns of Homel region have so far failed to inform local residents of the forthcoming local council elections. There are no posters or banners advertising the elections in Svetlahorsk, Zhlobin and Rahachou. As a result, members of the candidates’ initiative groups experience difficulties while collecting signatures, since few people actually know about the elections.

26.02.2010 New Life church to pay USD 100,000 of environmental damage

Today, Judge Alena Shylko of Minsk Maskouski Court fined the New Life Protestant church BYR 8,750,000 for allegedly causing damage to environment, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, quoting the church’s lawyer Siarhei Lukanin. The Church will also have to pay BYR 263,000,000 of environmental damage compensation.

26.02.2010 Homel For Freedom activist appeals non-registration of initiative group

Piotr Kuzniatsou, coordinator of For Freedom Homel regional office, who had intended to run in the forthcoming elections, lodged a complaint with Homel Regional Court after his initiative group was not registered by the local electoral commission. His previous appeal against the decision was considered by Homel regional electoral commission and dismissed, due to the exceeding number of members in the group – 21 instead of 3-10, as provided by the law.

Political prisoners Autukhovich and Asipenka to stand trial on March 10

26.02.2010 Political prisoners Autukhovich and Asipenka to stand trial on March 10

The date of the trial over Vaukavysk businessman Mikalai Autukhovich and former army officer Uladzimir Asipenka has been announced today.

The trial is to start in the Supreme Court on March 10, secretary of judge Alyaksei Tsyatsyukhin, who will conduct the trial, told this the lawyers.

At night Franak Vyachorka taken to Military hospital

26.02.2010 At night Franak Vyachorka taken to Military hospital

Today night Franak Vyachorka has been taken from military base to the Republican Military Hospital in Minsk.

Charter97.org has been told about that by the father of the political soldier Vintsuk Vyachorka.

Lidzia Yarmoshyna: The operation of election commissions is absolutely transparent

25.02.2010 Lidzia Yarmoshyna: The operation of election commissions is absolutely transparent

The operation of election commissions is absolutely transparent, Chairperson of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Lidia Yermoshina told the Belaruskaya Dumka Magazine in an interview.

Period of investigation in case of Union of Poles’s activist Teresa Sobol extended

25.02.2010 Period of investigation in case of Union of Poles’s activist Teresa Sobol extended

On February 24, director of the Ivyanets Polish House Tereza Sobal (Teresa Sobol) and accountant Romualda Miron were questioned in the militia department of Valozhyn.

They were questioned in Tereza Sobal’s criminal case of abuse of office. As Radio Svaboda reports, the period of investigation has been extended.

Barysau district authorities support information access restrictions

25.02.2010 Barysau district authorities support information access restrictions

The officials, who refused to provide information to the Borisovskie Novosti independent newspaper on 19 January, did not violate the law, says the official letter by Barysau district executive committee.

Minsk student fined for supporting Union of Poles

25.02.2010 Minsk student fined for supporting Union of Poles

Iryna Hubskaya, activist of the Belarusian Christian Democracy creation committee, was fined BYR 175,000 by Minsk Frunzenski administrative commission for posting stickers in Polish ‘Wolna Bialorus’ (‘Free Belarus’) in downtown Minsk on 15-16 February in support of the unrecognized Union of Poles in Belarus, including the buildings of the Belarusian State University and the city executive committee, the BelaPAN news agency reports.

25.02.2010 State media reluctant to provide timely information on elections in Baranavichy

The Nash Krai Baranavichy state-owned newspaper fails to publish information on the forthcoming elections in due time, thus blocking the work of numerous persons, involved in the election campaign.

25.02.2010 Pinsk authorities force opposition candidates’ initiative groups out of town center

Under Decree #157 adapted by Pinsk town executive committee, candidates will not be allowed to hold pickets for collecting signatures of voters within 100 meters of governmental buildings, industrial enterprises, educational, medical, religious and sports buildings, thus forcing the initiative groups out of the town center.

24.02.2010 Head of Barysau regional election commission abuses power, says local human rights activist

On 24 February human rights activist Aleh Matskevich lodged a complaint with the Central Electoral Commission against Chair of Barysau regional election commission Mikalai Zeliankevich, claiming that the official had abused his authority by refusing to provide information on the progress of the elections despite the activist’s mandate of observer.

24.02.2010 Homel election commission dismisses complaint by local For Freedom activist

On 24 February Homel regional election commission turned down a complaint lodged by local For Freedom coordinator Piotr Kuzniatsou, upholding the decision by Mazurauskaya constituency election commission to deny registration to the activist’s initiative group, due to the exceeding number of the team’s members – 21 persons instead of 3-10 required by the law.

Switzerland hosts world congress against death penalty

24.02.2010 Switzerland hosts world congress against death penalty

Over a thousand human rights activists and lawyers from all over the world participate in the World Congress against the Death Penalty opened today in Geneva, Switzerland. Belarus is represented by activists of the Human Rights Activists against the Death Penalty campaign Valiantsin Stefanovich and Tatsiana Reviaka.

24.02.2010 Baranavichy Office of Public Prosecutor refuses to monitor implementation of Election Code

A human rights activist from Baranavichy Syarhei Housha, who complained about a violation of the Election Code to the City Office of the Public Prosecutor, has received an official refusal.

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