Authorities Compensate Release of Political Prisoners with Other Repressions

2008 2008-02-01T19:51:35+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Student Tatsiana Tsishkevich, beaten at the entrepreneurs’ rally on 10 January and arrested for 20 days, was expelled from university. A criminal case against Andrei Kim was initiated on threats to a policeman.

More than ten oppositionists were released from the jail in Akrestin Street. Most of them are activists of unregistered youth organizations.

Some of them were arrested for participation in the entrepreneurs’ rally, while others were detained preventively on the eve of the action on 21 January. The criminal case against Andrei Kim was initiated on threats to police officers.

What concerns jail in Akrestin Street, there are three problems: hunger, cold and rats.

Franak Viachorka said to Radio Liberty:

‘The very attitude of the riot policemen and judges shows they are lost people. What concerns detention center in Akrestin Street, there are three problems: hunger, cold and rats. We were catching rats every day. If we spoke in low voices, they began to run around the cell like a cow stock. They stole bread, gnawed shoes.’

Andrei Prasniak, member of the unregistered organization Initiative got 10 days of arrest for participation in the rally on 21 January:

‘It’s not a rest house, you know. Moreover, I was transferred to another cell, after I had refused to cooperate with the KGB. I had a nice company there: criminals, hooligans, hard drinkers...’

Initiative activist Andrei Kim was guarded to the prosecutor’s office of the Tsentralny district of Minsk for questioning, after he had served 10 days of arrest. A criminal case on the article 364 (threats or violent acts towards police officers) was initiated against him.

It should be reminded that one of the 12 requirements of the EU is to release all political prisoners and stop persecution of the democratic opposition. After the fulfillment of 12 conditions the UE is ready to establish cooperation with the official Minsk.

The situation with human rights in Belarus is getting worse, representatives of the oppositional political parties say.

Vintsuk Viachorka, first deputy head of the Belarusian Popular Front party, commenting on the human rights situation for Radio Liberty, notes that the Belarusian authorities compensate for release of political prisoners in other repressions:

‘Release of political prisoners is compensated in the repressions of other type. It includes administrative arrests, expelling from universities. Now the students, who have been in jail for the last weeks, feel pressure upon.’

Pavel Seviarynets, founder of the Christian Democratic Party, thinks, the human rights situation in Belarus is getting worse lately:

‘There are more dissent criminal cases, political criminal cases in Belarus today than in the 1970ies. In other words, today’s repressions have exceeded the level of repressions in the period of stagnation. One more alarming signal is when people over high-profiled and famous cases can be released via Europe’s pressure or bargaining with it, but the awful dynamics of administrative arrests, expelling from university and dismissals is growing. The human rights situation in the country is getting worse.’