News for 14 Jun 2011

Hrodna: trial of journalist Andzhei Pachobut started

14.06.2011 Hrodna: trial of journalist Andzhei Pachobut started

On 14 June the Leninski District Court of Hrodna started closed proceedings in the criminal case against Andzhei Pachobut, correspondent with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza. The journalist is charged under two articles of the Criminal Code: Article 368, part 1, “defamation of president”, and Article 367, part 1 “libel against president”, and faces 2-4 years of imprisonment. He spent two months in jail before the trial.

Vitsebsk: Uladzimir Ramanovich is deprived of his business because of civil activism

14.06.2011 Vitsebsk: Uladzimir Ramanovich is deprived of his business because of civil activism

Uladzimir Ramanovich is organizer of numerous campaigns for the creation of bicycle infrastructure in Vitsebsk, including bicycle lanes and parking lots. Several days ago Siarhei Sliusar, the owner of the premises rented by Ramanovich for his bicycle hostel, Jazz Hotel, ordered him to vacate the premises within 10 days.

Baranavichy: district executive committee authorized one of three pickets

14.06.2011 Baranavichy: district executive committee authorized one of three pickets

The Baranavichy District Executive Committee allowed the local social democrats to hold a picket against the pauperization of the population. The pickets near the Viasiolkasupermarket and near the town fountain weren’t authorized, but the picket in the old park (from the side of Kamsamolskaya Street) which they intend to hold on 1-2 p.m. was permitted.

Vitsebsk and Haradok: civil activists are banned to hold pickets for resignation of the government

14.06.2011 Vitsebsk and Haradok: civil activists are banned to hold pickets for resignation of the government

The district authorities explained their refusals to authorize the actions by saying that neither the site near the Summer Amphitheatre in Vitebsk, nor the central square in Haradok were included in the list of areas identified for public events. However, civil activists don’t see any sense in holding such actions in the unfrequented places that were determined for such actions by the authorities.

Barysau District Executive Committee keeps silent

14.06.2011 Barysau District Executive Committee keeps silent

The Barysau authorities failed to send a timely answer to an address of human rights defender Aleh Matskevich (in the photo) who was unable to find the ruling #851 About the order of holding mass events in the Barysau district, though this official document was to have been published in the press according to the Belarusian laws.

14.06.2011 Two of the convicted anarchists transferred to penal colonies

On 27 May 2011 Zhanna Khvainitskaya, Judge of the Zavadski District Court of Minsk, sentenced Mikalai Dziadok to 4.5 years of in a minimum-security colony, Aliaksandr Frantskevich – to 3 years in a medium-security colony and Ihar Alinevich – to 8 years in a medium-security with confiscation of his car. The three activists of anarchist movement were charged with a series of assaults on state and private buildings, including throwing of bottles with incendiary mix to the territory of the Russian Embassy in Minsk on 30 August 2010.

14.06.2011 Eyewitness tells about beating of participants of protest action at the border crossing point Bruzgi

An eyewitness said that policemen threw the protesters into the paddy wagon and continued to beat them there. The interlocutor of RFE/RL saw at least 10 beaten persons. He said that there were about one hundred of participants in the protest.

14.06.2011 Hrodna: participants of protest action at Bruzgi sentenced to huge fines

According to information from the Hrodna Region Court, about 15 cases were considered on 14 June. The exact number of cases and amounts of fines is still unknown. Participants of the protest rally against the unlawful customs fee, held at the border crossing point Bruzgi on 12 June, were fined 2,450,000-2,625,000 rubles.

14.06.2011 Brest: search in apartment of Internet activist Ivan Stasiuk

On June 13 the flat of a democratic activist from Brest Ivan Stasiuk was searched.

14.06.2011 Provocation against Zmitser Dashkevich was staged by non-staff policemen

“Beaten” passers-by turned out to be non-staff workers of the Zavadski District Police Department of Minsk.

14.06.2011 Hrodna: journalist Ihar Bantsar detained

Ihar Bantsar’s wife Anzhalika Arehva has informed Euroradio about his detention. According to her, policemen have not informed about the reason for the arrest. Ihar’s whereabouts are unknown now.

Weekly Review of post-election situation in Belarus (6-12 June)

14.06.2011 Weekly Review of post-election situation in Belarus (6-12 June)

The total sum of fines given to participants of the Stop Petrol protest exceeds 3 mln Belarusian rubles. On 12 June the riot police violently dispersed a spontaneous protest action of drivers at the border crossing point Bruzgi. Human rights defenders demand that the authorities stop cruel treatment and torture of political prison Mikita Likhavid. A member of the United Civil Party, businessman Andrei Bandarenka was acquitted after spending two years in jail. The Belarusian democratic organizations the Belarusian Association of Journalists, the Human Rights Center Viasna and the Free Theater received the Freedom Award at the Wroclaw Global Forum held on 9-11 June.

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