News for 27 May 2009

27.05.2009 Investigation of businessmen’s case to be extended

According to the human rights activist Aleh Volchak, the investigation of the case against the three businessmen from Vaukavysk Mikalai Autukhovich, Yury Liavonau and Uladzimer Asipenka may be extended for another month. He also said Autukhovich had been interrogated on 26 May. Investigator Vital Kukharchyk mentioned illegal possession of explosives and firearms, which are likely to be added to the list of charges against the entrepreneurs. At the same time, the human rights activist thinks ‘the investigation lacks airtight evidence against the accused.’ ‘Had they had the evidence, the case would have reached the court, which is what the businessmen insist on,’ said Mr.Volchak.

27.05.2009 Prison administration accepts parcel for Autukhovich

On 27 May a number of human rights activists made a successful attempt to pass a parcel to the imprisoned Mikalai Autukhovich. According to Uladzimir Labkovich, the parcel contained a TV antenna, a chess set and batteries. However, the prison security still refuse to accept drinking water. The human rights activists say the refusal is illegal, for neither the law nor regulations by the Ministry of the Interior provide for any restrictions pertaining the content of parcels for convicts.

27.05.2009 Another convict for General Zakharanka memorial rally

On 26 May Homel Tsentralny Court convicted another participant of the 7 May General Zakharanka memorial picket in downtown Homel. The human rights and pro-democratic activist Anatol Paplauny was summonsed to the court after he had refused to let a policeman in his private house.

27.05.2009 Zeltser still in prison. Authorities dragging out his amnesty

Belarusian courts say they don’t have claims to American national Emanuel Zeltser serving a term in a Belarusian prison.

A notice from the Belarusian court has been sent to the penal colony this week, and lawyer Zmitser Harachka expected the commission to consider documents on amnesty of the US national in a week.

“The amnesty is used within six months. In our case the problem is that we need a no claim certificate from the court. The certificate has been sent to the colony this week. The Belarusian court confirmed the state and individuals do not have any claims to Zeltser. The commission has sessions every Wednesday. We don’t have time to present our documents this Wednesday, so a question on amnesty will be considered next week,” lawyer Zmitser Harachka told “Belorusski Partizan”.

27.05.2009 Amnesty International coordinator met with leader of embattled New Life church

On May 26 a meeting of Amnesty International coordinator on Belarus Lars Bünger with the pastor of Minsk-based charismatic New Life church Vyachaslau Hancharenka (Vyacheslav Goncharenko).

The sides discussed the situation with the congregation. The human rights activist from Switzerland has arrived in Belarus on a three-day visit.

As noted by Vyachaslau Hancharenka, Lars Bünger asked about the details of the recent events around the church and offered its leadership to stay in contact with him constantly.

27.05.2009 Investigation of demolition of crosses in Kurapaty extended

Investigation of the criminal case of destruction of six memorial crosses in Kurapaty was extended till June 20.

BelaPAN has learnt this from an anonymous officer of the Baraulyany district militia department of Minsk.

The case was instigated on April 20 under part 1 of article 339 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism).

Four crosses were destroyed on the eastern edge of Kurapaty, two on the northern side near Zaslaue–Kalodzishchy road. The broken crosses were found by activists of the Conservative Christian Party BPF in the morning April 17. Militia officers, called to the site, conducted necessary investigative actions, including taking photo, measuring, questioning CCP-BPF activists.

27.05.2009 Illya Shyla fined 625 dollars for covering “School for all” rally

An administrative commission of Salihorsk district executive committee has fined a minor activist Illya Shyla 50 basic units (1 mln 750 thousand rubles) for a picket in which he hadn’t taken part.

The ruling of the commission was passed in absence of the Young Front activist. Illya Shyla finds the decision absurd and is set to challenge it in the court, the website saligorsk.org writes.

As we have informed, on May 5 in the framework of the “School for all” campaign Salihorsk branch of the Young Front held a picket in support of their forcibly drafted leader Ivan Shyla in the central square of the city. Ivan Shyla hadn’t been given an opportunity to finish the school.

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Official side-event of the Czech EU Presidency under the auspices of H.E. Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. International Conference May 5-6, 2009, Prague

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