Authorities increase pressure on human rights activists before parliamentary elections
The day when the human rights activists declared their intention to monitor the upcoming parliamentary elections, June 12th, the First Channel of the Belarusian TV advertised a news item which insults the honor and dignity of the human rights defenders. Later the video was demonstrated by the Panarama news program on Sunday.
While state-controlled media are trying to discredit the human rights activity, the authorities started detailed examination of tax history of the human rights defenders. During the recent 10 days the Ministry of Taxes and Duties demanded declarations about income and property from BHC chair Aleh Hulak, the former chair of BHC Tatsiana Protska, vice-President of FIDH Ales Bialiatski, BHC member Zmitser Markusheuski, human rights defender Valiantsin Stefanovic, and their family members.
We believe the actions of the authorities are related to the intention of the human rights activists to monitor the election process.
Meanwhile, yesterday Aliaksandar Lukashenka signed Edict 344 “about Elections to the Chamber of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus of the 4th convocations”. According to the edict, the parliamentary elections will be held on September 28th, 2008.