| POLITICS |
OSCE AMG Alarmed By Foreign Ministry`s Threats
Outstanding Professor May Serve 9 Years Behind Bars, Despite EU Protests
OSCE AMG in Belarus "considers criticism and intimidations voiced by deputy Foreign Minister of Belarus "unjustified", reads the OSCE AMG statement of May 22. The document also mentions "recent public statements of KGB officials, targeted at discrediting AMG in the eyes of the Belarusian public". BelaPAN reports that they meant the May 20 television report of the KGB communications and liaison official Fedor Kotov, who charged the head of the OSCE mission in Belarus with conducting destructive activities.
Belarus Has One Future With Turkmenistan?
The state prosecutors propose to sentence former rector of the Gomel state institute of medicine Yuri Bandazhevsky to 9 years of jail with full property confiscation. In the meantime, the European Parliament issued for professor Bandazhevsky a universal Passport of Freedom. The concomitant notification letter, signed by MPs from 15 EU member-states, was forwarded for the attention of the Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko. The letter reads, among other things, that the persecution of the "prominent Belarusian scholar" provokes indignation among the world researchers and scientists.
11:18, 22/05/2001, Y.S.News
"State" Forbids to Subscribe for Non-State Press
Turkmenistan ambassador in Minsk Ilya Veldjanov is satisfied with the outcomes of the All-Belarusian national assembly: "Such events are held in Turkmenistan on an annual basis since the foundation of our country. They attract delegates from all country`s districts and villages. At the last meeting, which took place last year, they passed a program of social-economic development of the country till the year 2010. Same year they adopted a constitutional law, which provides no limitations to the duration of the presidential mandate of our first president Saparmurat Niyazov. That`s a request of the whole nation, upheld by our assembly,"
- said Veldjanov.
Medics Protest Payment Delays
Smorgon district council banned the state institutions, companies and agencies to subscribe for the independent periodical "Novaya Gazeta Smorgoni". Thus, the local authorities tend to restrict the free information flow. That wasn`t their first attempt to silence alternative thinking though. A year ago the newspaper even published the document, signed by the district committee chair Nikolai Kovalev, who obliged all state structures to sign up for the local newspaper "Svetly Putz" and refrain from rendering financial assistance to private editions.
68% Belarusians Enjoy No Access to Political Information
60 Grodno residents, staffers of the "Medic" company, staged a picket in their hometown, protesting against salary payments delays. Since January the company`s personnel was constantly underpaid. The picket was initiated by the plant`s engineer Mikhail Eschik, who asked to be given permission to picket the regional healthcare center. The picketers made a living chain, approximately 40 meters long, raising banners "May! Work! Where are the wages?", "Our kids want to eat every day!", "I want to work for money!" and similar. During the picket the protesters passed out a few hundred flyers and called upon the rest of the residents to express their solidarity with the picketers.
"Do you have a substantial access to the information, relating to the present-day political situation in Belarus?"High-Ranking Official Arrested For Bribery
- the country`s inhabitants were asked by the NISEPI laboratory pollsters, reports BelaPAN. The poll attracted 1460 respondents, aged 18 and over. 68% said they have no access, 31% noted that they are satisfied with the access they have, while 1% didn`t answer. 39% replied positively when asked whether or not they trust the Belarusian television. 34% said they have no confidence at all, while 27% have no clear attitude.
April Inflation Rate Amounts to 3,3%
State Committee for fighting organized criminality and corruption of Belarus captured red-handed deputy head of the Minsk district administration Vladimir Trubach when he received a $7500 bribe. Trubach was in charge of the district`s construction works. According to the law-enforcement bodies, he extorted a 10 thousand dollar bribe from some company director for financing the construction of two blocks of flats in the Gatovo village of Minsk district. Former official was placed in custody in the pre-trial detention center.
Entrepreneurs Will Be Levied A Single Tax
The growth of prices in Belarus, according to rough preliminary calculations, constituted 3,9% in March, Interfax was informed in the Ministry of statistics and analysis. In January-April this year the prices saw a 16,8% increase. Meantime, the average monthly inflation equaled 4%. Independent experts believe that the average monthly price-increase in 2001 will remain over 4-4,5%.
TV-sets As Free Gifts For Visiting All-Belarusian Assembly
The decree on the introduction of a single duty for individual entrepreneurs was signed by Alexander Lukashenko. The tax-payers will from now on be freed from paying income taxes for physical entities, value added tax, except the duty, levied on individuals, who import foreign commodity, so-called environmental tax, local duties and fees.
11:11, 22/05/2001, BARC
Yura Zavadsky Receives Birthday Greetings
In early May the Oshmyany executive council addressed local entrepreneurs with a request to assist local husbandries and farms in the purchase of diesel fuel and support the poor families by transferring $150 to their bank account. When asked by businessmen to tell them the contact addresses of these families the officials politely refused to do that. After the second All-Belarusian Assembly 11 delegates from Oshmyany were granted free television sets. The entrepreneurs now wonder where on earth did they get the means to purchase such costly presents, if they lacked money for the sowing?
Lukashenko`s In Opposition to His Nation Deems Pavel Kozlovsky
Charter`97 press-center got numerous e-mails with birthday wishes to the son of the missing Belarusian journalist Dmitry Zavadsky Yura. Greetings came from all different parts of the globe, including Belarus, Poland, USA and Israel, but most messages arrived from Netherlands. For instance, the Amnesty International official from Nootdorp (Netherlands) Erik Kissing and his family members Diana and Thor Kissing wrote a letter of the following content:
11:09, 22/05/2001, "Narodnaya Volya"
Newly Emerged Movement Upholds "Five United" Team
None of the Belarusian politicians have so much traveled across the country in all directions over a couple of last months as did the president of the public association "BelRos" - International foundation of health rehabilitation of former military servicemen - first Belarusian Defense Minister ever general Kozlovsky. One can hardly meet the man in Minsk. The general travels to provincial towns and countryside villages, exploring the social problems of soldiers and their families. His experience from working in the Kebich`s apparatus and personal observations of Lukashenko`s activities convinced the general that the country`s top brass wants to hear only what tickles their ears and pleases them. Following comes the text of his latest interview:
ZUBR Activist Gets 10 Days Arrest
A group of Belarusian politicians and civil figures announced the formation of the popular movement "For new Belarus!". A constituent assembly was held May 21 in Minsk where they set up a working body of the movement and elected its leaders. The executive committee of the initiative will be chaired by former Minister for Agriculture Vasily Leonov. The man claims the new movement is aimed at preventing Lukashenko from winning the office for the second time in a row. In their address to the nation, the movement leaders pledge to support the five nominees for the presidency seat from opposition, namely - Vladimir Goncharik, Sergei Kalyakin, Syamon Domash, Mikhail Chigir and Pavel Kozlovsky.
President Fulfilled 99% of His Promises Asserts Zametalin
The Partyzansky court of Minsk ruled 10 days of arrest for the participant of the ZUBR protest "Ultimate Diagnosis" Valery Zharbin. The young man will serve the term in a special confinement center on Okrestina street. Valery Zharbin was apprehended by police on April 21 during the manhunt that followed the youth rally. Back then he stayed in jail for three days awaiting trial. When in court he demanded to be given a lawyer and, thus, the hearing took place only today. All his mates received 3 days each and were released from custody right in the courtroom. Only two persons - Sergei Pyanych and Valery Zharbin - insisted on being assigned a lawyer and consequently got 10 days of arrest each.
Wieck Under Constant KGB Surveillance
In his "BDG" interview Vladimir Zametalin assured everyone that Alexander Lukashenko`s election campaign commenced on July 11, 1994 - the day of his actual election to the post - when he started doing what he promised. And, Zametalin noted, 99% of his pre-election declarations were made true. "See, the president can answer to his people. So formally, one could accuse him of having started the election campaign long before schedule. But that`s the only justified conduct for the country`s head of state, supported by all, who realize the very meaning of the word "president", which stands for the "chairman of the nation" in the Belarusian equivalent,"
- pointed out the country`s chief ideologist.
Trial Over Brutally Beaten MP Schukin Put Off
Despite numerous warnings and threats, emanating from the Belarusian authorities, the OSCE AMG chief Hans-Georg Wieck returned to Minsk and continues his activities. Chief of the KGB Center for information and liaison Fedor Kotov said in his interview to the radio "Svaboda" that the accusations of Mr.Wieck are well-grounded: "Those files, that we have at our disposal, perfectly match the scheme, applied in Yugoslavia."
The official went on to declare that Wieck is attempting to set up a "network of hired observers, financed from outside the country".
Meetings With Potential Candidates Are Discarded As "Pointless"
Trial proceedings against Valery Schukin were delayed due to his deteriorating health condition. Schukin intends to bring to justice the riot police servicemen who beat him up following the rally "The Chain of Those Who Care". On that day even the ordinary law-enforcers felt compassion towards Schukin and called for an ambulance, which delivered the man directly to the hospital. The medics plastered his strained arm and diagnosed numerous bruises.
Pavel Kozlovsky Pledges That Regime Threatens Him
The district committee of Krychev refused to provide room for an electorate`s meeting with Syamon Domash - one of the contenders for the president`s seat in Belarus. BelaPAN reports that the official response, forwarded to the Helsinki Committee member Sergei Nerovny, reads among other things this: "We consider it pointless to provide space in the district committee building for hosting a meeting with the "Regional Belarus" movement leader Syamon Domash."
Lukashenko Visited By His Allies
One of the potential nominees for the presidency of Belarus, former country`s Defense Minister Pavel Kozlovsky is holding the government responsible for the attempts to threaten him. This statement was made during the May 21 constituent assembly of the popular movement "For new Belarus", reports BelaPAN.
Spokesman of the Russian State Duma, speaker of the "union`s parliamentary assembly" Gennady Seleznev will land today in Minsk to rendezvous Lukashenko. Same day Lukashenko will meet the beleaguered "union`s state secretary" Pavel Borodin, who frequently visits Belarusian capital these days.