Salihorsk: Valery Baranouski Stops Hungering
According to RFE/RL
The authorities paid no reaction to the 10-day hunger-strike of protest that was held by the 56-year-old entrepreneur Valery Baranouski. He protested against the 26 million rubles’ fine to which he had been sentenced.
The matter is that during the last years of his life Mr Baranouski imported used cars to Belarus. He did everything officially and paid the taxes. However, this year the financial police have accused him of illegal business activity. As a result, Valery Baranouski was sentenced to three years of conditional imprisonment with the probation term of 1,5 years. Now Mr Baranouski can’t leave Salihorsk.
Before the action V.Baranouski informed about his intentions the local prosecutor’s office and the executive committee. The executive committee ordered a medical brigade for control. As far as the authorities paid no other reaction, the entrepreneur decided to stop the hunger-strike and pay off the fine, 50 rubles per month. During the action Mr Baranouski was supported by the local activists, who distributed fly-sheets about his hunger-strike. One of them, under-aged Ivan Shyla, was detained by the police.
Belarus already has quite a number of hunger-strikes. This year nine persons have hungered in Salihorsk, trying to make the authorities stop persecuting youth activists and rehabilitate those of them who had been expelled from higher educational establishments. In Brest fifteen workers of a taxi firm hungered to protest against the far too large taxes that were imposed by the local administration. However, in all cases the authorities ignored protesters.