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Authorities Begin Pressurization of “Maladaya Belarus” Coalition

2004 2004-07-29T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The coalition “Maladaya Belarus” nominates more than 30 candidates for the deputy positions to the election into the Chamber of Representatives of the Belarusian Parliament. Almost all of them will be running in regional and district centers and village electoral circuits. One of the leaders of the coalition Pavel Seviarynets says that the majority of the electors positively treats the wish of young politicians to get to the Parliament and critically speaks of Aliaksandr Lukashenka. He noticed it during his visits to flats and distribution of fly-sheets.

At present the activists of “Maladaya Belarus” nominate their representatives to circuit commissions and agitate against the possible referendum. Pavel Seviarynets is of the opinion that his colleagues have good chances for the victory:

-- We think we will win in 10-12 circuits in the first vote. These are our strong circuits, on which we will concentrate most. We have analyzed the situation on the basis of the collected information: new people begin to compete with us and they can appear to be weak candidates.

Pavel Seviarynets states that the authorities have already started persecution of the activists of the “Maladaya Belarus” coalition. In Zhodzina KGB detained the activist Pavel Krasowski, confiscated 10 000 anti-referendum fly-sheets and began and investigation against him. In Niasvizh the police detained Mikola Artsiukhow for organization of the public voting against the third referendum. The coordinator of “Maladaya Belarus” Artur Finkevich was sentenced to 10 days of jail for participation in the mass protest action that was held in Minsk on 21 July.

One more activist, Aliaksey Shein, said:
-- Yesterday a policeman came to my house in the town of Rakaw. He said that I was wanted by Minsk Maskowski Borough Board of Internal Affairs and asked to come with him. Surprisingly enough, I was wanted for non-payment of alimony. I wrote the explanation that I haven’t been married and had no children. They answered the case would be investigated, because nobody knew anything. I say I have no children, and the policeman says I am wanted.

It’s not the first time the authorities use this kind of persecution. During previous electoral campaigns they accused Pavel Seviarynets and other activists in non-payment of alimonies as well.

Mr. Seviarynets is of the opinion that the most complicated stage of the electoral campaign will be registration of candidates. In September Seviarynets is going to initiate a council of representatives of all electoral blocks with the aim to agree about support of one democratic candidate in each electoral circuit.


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