Ashmiany customs officers seize Review-Chronicle of Human Rights Violations
March 13 at the border crossing "Kamenny Loh" Belarusian customs officersseized 47 copies of "Situation of Human Rights in Belarus in 2014" in English and Belarusian, prepared by the Human Rights Centre "Viasna" on the basis of monthly reviews of human rights violations.
The reviews were carried throught the border by Smarhon human rights activist Aleh Dzerhachou in his car.
Senior Inspector of Ashmiany Customs A. Shumski drew up an Act of customs examination of the car and act of seizure of goods for personal use, imported from Lithuania to Belarus. 47 copies of the books will most probably be sent for examination, which must determine whether it is permitted to import these books in Belarus.
A similar situation occurred in early July 2013, when 40 copies of the book of the book by Ales Bialiatski "Enlightened by Belarusian Issue” were seized from Tatsiana Reviaka at the border crossing point “Kamenny Loh” and sent for examination of the content. After two expert examinations the customs officers demanded that Tatsiana Reviaka reexported the copies of the book to the territory of Lithuania, where it had been published. Judge Tatsiana Yemelyanovich declaredthe examinations of the book unacceptable, but “took them into account as the opinion of experts” and banned the import of books in Belarus.
Chairman of the Human Rights Centre "Viasna" Ales Bialiatski commented on the actions of the Ashmiany customs office: “By the will of the athorities, Belarus remains a country closed to independent words, sealed for uncontrolled thoughts of human rights defenders. The authorities seize the books which contain the truth which is bitter for those who rule the country. The authorities do not have the courage to face the truth.
When I was in prison, I wasn't allowed to receive some books from outside, either. A closed and non-free country reminds a prison.”