Acts of vandalism against Belarusian national organizations continue
In the night of 23 and 24 July the entrance doors and the nameplate in the Minsk headquarters of the Belarusian Language Association named after Frantsysk Skaryna were stained with black paint and had nazi-Bolshevik fly sheets attached to them, reports Radio Liberty. Near the entrance to the head office of the BLA, there was also the abbreviation of the Nazi-Bolshevik Party painted together with a sickle and a hammer.
According to the activist of the Belarusian Language Association, the writer Kastus Tarasau, this act of vandalism was most probably committed by people who have a hatred for anything national, Belarusian. BLA representatives filed a complaint with the police department of Partyzanski Borough in Minsk, requiring that those behind the act of vandalism be found and punished accordingly.
Almost a month ago unidentified Nazi-Bolsheviks also stained with black paint the doors of the BPF party headquarters.
In Babruisk the authorities again attempted to break up delegate nomination to the Congress of Democratic Forces
Every day in Belarus district gatherings take place, whose function is to nominate delegates to the Congress of Democratic Forces due in September. The date depends on which out of 55 applications for renting premises will be confirmed by Minsk City Executive Committee.
The campaign to nominate candidates began on 15 June, out of 300 delegates the district gatherings have already nominated 100 people.
Over weekends the opposition party leaders go to the districts to attend the gatherings. The locations of the gatherings were repeatedly visited by the police. In Maladechna firefighters came to visit the location, in Zhodzina they blocked the house as mercury had allegedly been spilled there, in Rechytsa there was an attempt not to allow the gathering, in Baranavichy the police officers detained Stanislau Shushkievich, Anatol Liabedzka, Siarhei Kaliakin and other leaders of the political structures. Antisocial people showed up at several locations and started to have verbal fights or use bad language. Police officers did not react to that in any way.
On 23 July about 60 people gathered for an assembly in Babruisk, which the police also attempted to disrupt: about 15 police attempted to break into a privately-owned house, the location of the gathering, to write down the names of the participants. Because the police did not have official authorization to do so, they were simply denied entry.
The UCP leader Anatol Liabedzka thinks that it is the gathering participants that are going to be the most active demonstrators during the election campaign: "These people come to gatherings, knowing that there can be cases of provocation, that they can be detained, that they would then have to deal with KGB. These are the people who are not afraid of anything or anybody. This means they will be collecting signatures for the single candidate. If necessary, they will come to the main square in Belarus – Kastrychnitskaya Square." Mr. Liabedzka believes that reaction of the authorities to the district gatherings means they fear consolidation of the opposition forces.