Seven members of Rada of Belarusian Intelligentsia apply for release of Catholic priest Uladzislaw Lazar

2013 2013-08-23T14:22:59+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

Seven members of the Rada (Council) of the Belarusian Intelligentsia have applied for the release of arrested Roman Catholic priest Uladzislaw Lazar against their personal guarantees that he would not flee from prosecution.

The applicants include poet Anatol Vyartsinski, scholar Uladzimir Kolas, former television announcer Zinaida Bandarenka, translator Lyavon Barshchewski, journalists Alyaksey Karol and Anatol Hulyayew, and former lawmaker Valery Fralow.

They ask the Committee for State Security (KGB) to release Mr. Lazar on his own recognizance if he authorizes them to act as his sureties.

The applicants say that the KGB should take into account the nature of Mr. Lazar's alleged offense, his personality, age, health condition and occupation, among other things.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka revealed on July 26 that authorities had recently arrested an officer of a Belarusian intelligence agency who had supplied information to “foreign states” through representatives of the Catholic Church.

The private weekly Nasha Niva reported the following day that Uladzislaw Lazar, minister of the Holy Spirit Descension Parish in Barysaw, Minsk region, was being held in the KGB jail.

Authorities have repeatedly refused to release any information regarding the Rev. Lazar's case.