Minsk Authorities Try to Disrupt Entrepreneurs’ Meeting and Prohibit Action in Support of Political Prisoners
Minsk city executive committee has prohibited giving electricity to sound-amplifying equipment at the meeting of entrepreneurs held in Bangalore Square in Minsk today. Despite of the fact that the rally had been sanctioned by city authorities, the authorities have tried to foil preparation to the rally. Today in the morning leaders of the Strike Committee of the entrepreneurs Valery Levaneuski and Aliaksandr Vasilieu were detained in Hrodna. Over the recent few days activists of entrepreneurs’ movement who had been distributing leaflets with a call to come to a meeting have been detained. It has been banned to distribute informational materials and make announcements about the rally.
At the moment about 250 businessmen are taking part in the meeting. Only official symbols have been allowed for the protesters, that is why a blue banner with Our Lady of Minsk, a Minsk emblem, is unfurled over the meeting.
A leader of the democratic forces Aliaksandr Milinkevich and the chairman of the Belarusian People’s Front party Vintsuk Viachorka have come to support entrepreneurs.
Organizers of the rally have stated that they would stay on the square until 5 p.m. Entrepreneurs are using megaphone for making speeches.
Initially the entrepreneurs asked the CEC asked to sanction a meeting on Iakub Kolas Square. Representatives of small business are protesting against the presidential decree No. 760 which bans use of hired help except relatives since January 1, 2008.
A former deputy of the “chamber of representatives” Siarhei Skrabets hasn’t been allowed to stage a meeting of solidarity with illegally convicted persons, Skrabets told to BelaPAN. The politician submitted a request to Minsk city executive committee to hold a meeting of solidarity with illegally convicted persons. The meeting had to be held on 16 March in Minsk in Bangalore Square.
As said by S.Skrabets, on 12 March he was denied authorization by Minsk city executive committee. ‘It is not clear what the reason was, as Minsk city executive committee representatives told they had sent an answer by mail. I haven’t received it, and they refused to state the reason for refusal,’ S.Skrabets said.
’It only means that the regime is afraid of our solidarity and does not allow holding such meetings to us even in Bangalore square far from the center of the city’, commented Skrabets.