Picks of the week
The trial of former political prisoner Dzmitry Paliyenka has been adjourned on grounds of the judge’s ill health. The hearing was scheduled for September 25 but was canceled after notice the same day.
Paliyenka is expected to stand trial on charges of committing four criminal acts, including hooliganism and defamation.
Human rights defenders criticized the charges as controversial. They also called on the authorities to declassify the proceedings after the media reported that the trial would be held behind closed doors.
Yauhen Shauko, a wheelchair user running for Parliament in Minsk, has written to the Central Election Commission to complain about accessibility issues in several facilities provided by the authorities for his meetings with the voters. The prospective candidate says this violates the principle of equality in elections.
The CEC chair, Lidziya Yarmoshyna, however, replied by saying that the case was a “mere formality,” since these meetings are never attended by many voters.
“In the best-case scenario, only a few pensioners will come,” the official said.
Farhod Odinaev, a Tajik opposition activist, has been detained in Belarus at Tajikistan's request and may be extradited to Dushanbe, Belarusian rights group Human Constanta said.
The group’s lawyer Nasta Loika said Odinaev was detained at a Belarusian-Lithuanian border checkpoint on September 25. The 42-year-old opposition activist used to belong to the banned Islamic Renaissance Party.
“Tajikistan may be able to request his extradition. And this is a huge threat to the opposition activist. It is very important for us that he is not kept in an environment where his rights would be violated,” Loika said.