Amnesty International Holds Action In Support of Partnerstva Activists
An American branch of the human rights organization Amnesty International has announced an action of international support of arrested activists of the election observation civil initiative Partnerstva. Amnesty International activists, are set to send postcards with words of support for Enira Brantskaya, Tsimafei Dranchuk, Mikalay Astrejka and Alyaksandr Shalajka, to Minsk, to the address of the KGB (State Security Committee). (AI worldwide is 75,000 strong). The aim of the so-called postcards action is to show the Belarusian authorities that people all over the world are concerned with the fate of Belarusian political prisoners. According to Amnesty International, there are 18 prisoners of conscience today in Belarus, which is too many, according to the organization.
On February 21, 2006 in Minsk mass arrests of public activists took place in Minsk. All over the country armed policemen in masks detained activists of the civil initiative for election observation Partnerstva. Searches were carried out in the apartments of the civil initiative activists. All office equipment was seized. Tsimafei Dranchuk, Enira Branitskaya, Mikola Astrejka and Alyaksandr Shalajka were placed to the KGB detention center. They were charged with violation of the Article 193 part 2 of the Criminal Code (participation in unregistered organization violating the rights of citizens). The matter concerns political amendments to the Criminal Code of Belarus adopted before the presidential elections. The trial over observers scheduled for July.
Yesterday in the court of Tsentralny district of Minsk a judge who will consider the case of the civil initiative Partnerstva activists was appointed. It is Leanid Yasinovich, who once tried opposition leaders Paval Sevyarynets and Mikola Statkevich. . As we have informed, the both politicians are serving a sentence of two years of restriction of freedom (so-called corrective labour) for organizing a protest rally against rigged results of the presidential elections and referendum.