News for 14 Jan 2008

14.01.2008 2 Months after Amnesty: Only 250 Prisoners Released

Almost two months have passed since the Belarusian authorities declared the latest amnesty. According to the MIA calculations, 3 512 persons fell under the action of the amnesty. The basic condition for dismissal from prison was compensation of the financial damage to victims or the state by 24 April. However, according to the chair of the punishment execution department Yury Barynkou only 250 of them have been released so far, mostly those who have compensated the damage.

14.01.2008 Hantsavichy Authorities Interfere with Work of Independent Journalists

The journalist of a non-state newspaper Hantsavitski Chas Iryna Damaratskaya was not admitted to the awarding of the best pupils and teachers of the district that took place on 9 January in Hantsavichy culture palace.

14.01.2008 Vitsebsk: Entrepreneur Shapavalau Detained

On 13 January the deputy chair of the republican NGO Perspective Anatol Shapavalau was guarded to Chyhunachny district police department of Vitsebsk. There the policemen composed on him a report for participation in the unauthorized action of protest which took place in Minsk on 10 December. Then the entrepreneur was let go. So, the authorities persecute regional participants of the protest action (about 30 entrepreneurs came to Minsk from Vitsebsk to take part in the action).

14.01.2008 Aliaksandr Makayeu Declares Hunger-strike

On 12 January 2008 the entrepreneur Aliaksandr Makayeu was sentenced to 15 days of jail for alleged ‘dirty swearing’. He was detained after a meeting with the head of Minsk police Aliaksandr Naidzenka, at which he discussed the conditions of incarceration of entrepreneurs in prison in Akrestsin Street. After a short talk Makayeu was forcedly taken to Maskouski district police department of Minsk (where a report under article 17.1 was drawn) and then – to court. Makayeu managed to tell his wife Khrystsina that he announced a hunger-strike of protest against such lawlessness.

14.01.2008 Salihorsk District Court Abolishes Huge Fines to Youth Activists

On 11 January the judge Lapina ruled to abolish all four rulings of the administrative commissions according to which the youth activist Khrystsina Samoilava was to have paid 2 480 000 rubles fine (about 1 154 USD). The rulings were found unlawful. The administrative case will consider the same materials against the Young Front activist Samoilava again. In her complaints and speech Khrystsina pointed at gross law violations during her detention, drawing of the police reports and consideration of her case by the administrative commission of Salihorsk town executive committee.

14.01.2008 Economical Persecution of Protesting Entrepreneurs

In the morning of 14 December the administration of the market center Underground city hanged out the lists of the persons who were absent from work on 10 December, during the protest action of entrepreneurs. This can be considered as violation of the regime of work of the market center. As a result those who were absent from their jobs without a ‘good excuse’ can be deprived of their licenses of individual entrepreneurs and thus lose their jobs.

14.01.2008 Criminal Case Brought on 10 December Action

The prosecutor’s office of Minsk has considered materials concerning the fact of organizing and holding of an unsanctioned meeting and process in Kastrychnitskaya Square and the central streets of Minsk on 10 January 2008 and stated that during its holding the public order was grossly violated and group actions associated with insubordination to lawful demands of the authorities and interruption of the city traffic.’

14.01.2008 Baranavichy: Court Upholds Prohibition of Pickets against Repeal of Social Benefits

On 11 January the court of Baranavichy and Baranavichy district turned down the suit of an activist of the united democratic forces, member of the Party of Communists Belarusian, engineer Viktar Tsiapin against the ruling of Baranavichy city executive committee concerning the order of holding mass actions in the region.

14.01.2008 Become Member of Pro-Lukashenka Youth Union to Enter University?

Soon there will be enforced the new rules for entering high schools. The Ministry of Education proposes to introduce a norm obliging the pretenders to education on a number of specialities to present letters of introduction.

14.01.2008 Journalists Seized for Interview with Oppositional Politician

After an interview with the member of the United Civil Party, an economist Pavel Daneika, the police seize the journalists Uladzimir and Halina Samoilaus and a cameraman Valery Buldyk. After the arrest and search policemen confiscated their equipment.

14.01.2008 Hunger-strike at Tuberculosis Hospital

Patients of the Republican Tuberculosis Hospital in the village Navayelnia (Dziatlava district, Hrodna oblast) cry for help. They live in awful conditions. All patients of the hospital have refused to eat today.

14.01.2008 Authorities Demand Explanations from Political Parties

The Justice Ministry of Belarus has demanded explanations from the United Civil Party, the Party of Communists Belarusian and Belarusian People’s Front concerning the participation of their leaders in the unsanctioned protest rally of small businessman on 10 January. Such explanations must be given to the ministry by 14 January.

14.01.2008 Authorities Liquidate Entrepreneurs’ Association ‘Perspective’

The Ministry of Justice has sued to the Supreme Court for liquidation of the republican NGO Perspective. In the report placed at the web site of the ministry on 12 January it is stated that ‘a meeting of entrepreneurs was held on 10 January in Minsk. Among others, the leader of the republican public association Perspective Anatol Shumchanka has taken an active part in the meeting’.

14.01.2008 Entrepreneur Siarhei Parsiukevich Sentenced to 15 Days of Jail

Siarhei Parsiukevich was arrested for 15 days for participation on the unauthorized rally of entrepreneurs on 10 January. The activist of the entrepreneurs’ movement Siarhei Parsiukevich from Vitsebsk has had a trial in the court of Tsentralny district of Minsk today, RFE/RL reports.

14.01.2008 Homel: KGB Searches Journalist Padsasonny’s Apartment

Officers of the local KGB department searched an apartment of member of the Belarusian Association of Belarus Siarhei Padsasonny in Homel on 12 January.

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