Picks of the week
New fines for Brest environmental activists
On June 3, the Court of Brest Region, despite weak evidence of police officers and recorded violations in the administrative offense report, fined activist Edvard Silitski 5 base values for participation in a rally against the battery factory that had taken place on April 7. On June 5, Jauhen Sauchuk was also fined 10 base values for attending the same protest.
On June 1, during yet another rally blogger Siarhej Petrukhin was detained and accused of disorderly conduct. His trial was postponed to June 10.
Mikhail Zhamchuzhny's petitions are not considered
Political prisoner Mikhail Zhamchuzhny who had spent 3 months in the security housing unit, upon serving this term once again refused to return to the general unit and was punished again. On May 21, he was placed in disciplinary segregation for 9 days.
On May 14, he filed an appeal to the Horki District Court against preventively registering him as a convict "prone to extremism and other destructive activities." But given that this status had been granted to him by the administration of penal colony #14, the court rejected the case due to its nonjurisdiction.
Also, the colony administration continues to deny him the opportunity to acquire and take vitamins, despite numerous petitions of the political prisoner.
Performance against dominance of Russian language results in arrest
Artist Ales Pushkin made a performance in the town of Krupki on the 220-the anniversary of the birth of his namesake — Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Pushkin picketed the Euroopt store in the center of Krupki with posters "Belarus to NATO", "Russia - war!", "Stop Russian aggression in Europe", etc. Half an hour later, the artist was detained. Ales Pushkin is known for defending the rights of the Belarusian-speakers. Recently, he has had a conflict on linguistic grounds with Euroopt's staff.
Minsk hosts an international conference on combating extremism
On June 4, an international conference "Human Rights and Combating Extremism" took place in Minsk. The event was induced by the growing concern of the human right community in Belarus about the increase in incidents of prosecuting citizens for distribution of extremist materials. Intentionally for the conference, the human rights coalition has prepared a report on the antiextremist law-enforcement practice in Belarus including analysis of the current legislation.
Following the conference, the Belarusian participants adopted a common resolution.
LGBTQ initiative faces charges for illegal use of the homophobic newspaper logo
A complaint has been filed against the Mahilioŭ initiative "New regions" for illegal use of the city's coat of arms and the logo of the Vecherniy Mogilev newspaper in their printed materials. Activists held a film screening and printed some stickers promoting LGBTQ ideas for the event. LGBTQ activists have linked the persecution with the results of the examination of the materials of the newspaper Vecherniy Mogilev for extremism. The newspaper is notorious for its homophobic publications. Earlier, the Ministry of Information identified elements of extremism in two texts by the edition and sent its expert results to law enforcement authorities for further investigation.