“Recently the law-enforcement bodies have been displaying an incredible activism in protecting the honor and dignity of a citizen Lukashenka. Legal proceedings have been instituted against the UCP member from Rechitsa Natalya Brel, journalists Nikolai Markevich and Pavel Mozheiko of Grodno, five young ZUBR activists from Shklov. The United Civil Party considers such actions by the authorities to be the discrimination of citizens for political reasons,” – reads today’s statement voiced by the UCP representatives. UCP also reminds that all legal actions have been opened against the regional activists and journalists, which, according to the party, can be viewed as the government’s crusade around the regions ahead of the local elections. UCP urges all political parties, public associations and international organizations to manifest solidarity with the potential political prisoners and struggle shoulder to shoulder against the violation of their rights, particularly of the right for freedom.
2nd judiciary Congress of Belarus, where Alyaxandar Lukashenka himself takes part, is currently underway in Minsk. Prior to the Congress Lukashenka signed a series of documents, which are designed “to contribute to the increase in the courts’ work’s efficacy.” According to Lukashenka’s press-secretary Natalya Petkevich, from now on all judges of general and economic courts of Belarus will have to take an oath before entering into their responsibilities. This procedure is called to underline the “particular responsibility of judges, carrying out justice”. Judges of the superior judicial institutions – Supreme and High Economic Courts – will swear their oaths to personally Alyaxandar Lukashenka.
General director of the Brewery “Baltika” Taimuraz Bolloev has not received an invitation for a meeting with Lukashenka for solving a problem of future destiny of Krynitsa. As the press service of “Baltika” informs, the general director of “Baltika” found out from newspapers that a meeting of Bolloev and Lukashenka was scheduled for February 19.
The Belarusian leader said this during his meeting with the chairman of the Committee for state control Anatoly Tozik. Tozik reported to Lukashenka about the course of the inspections into the “Belneftehim” and Ministry of healthcare’s activities, as well as of the outcomes of analysis of the financial-economic activities of certain leading companies, such as the Minsk Tractor Plant and the Belarusian metallurgic plant. Lukashenka pointed out the poor performance of the Ministry of industry and personally the Minister in eliminating negative tendencies in the work of the subordinate organizations. Lukashenka ordered Tozik to intensify control over his orders’ fulfillment.
In 2001 104 law-enforcers and 30 customs officers have been brought to the legal accountability, said at the 2nd Congress of judges Alyaxandar Lukashenka. The Belarusian leader declared that at present they are examining the activities of courts that belong to the country’s various districts and Minsk. Upon its outcomes Lukashenka pledged to convene a meeting of law-enforcers and judges. “Don’t get offended now, but we will be strict on you,” – promised the head of state.
On March 1-2, 2002 the delegation from China will pay an official visit to Minsk under the leadership of the deputy Foreign Minister Lee Chjasin. The visit’s purpose is to hold rounds of consultations between the Belarusian and Chinese FMs. It is planned to consider the condition and further perspectives of the Belarusian-Chinese relations. Also scheduled are the meetings of the Chinese deputy Minister with the first deputy Foreign Minister of Belarus Vasily Pygachev, a series of meetings in the “house of representatives” and other officials.
Given the elections into the Ukraine’s Supreme Rada took place this weekend, 6 parties and blocs would get seats in it: Viktor Yuschenko’s bloc “Our Ukraine” and the Communist Party would win 18% votes, SDPU (O) – 8,5%, the Greens – 7%, bloc “For united Ukraine” and association “Women for the future” – 5% each. Such data were received as a result of the sociological poll, conducted by the “Sotsis” firm and the “Democratic initiatives” foundation on February 1-7, 2002.
was set up upon the order of the Belarusian Prime Minister Gennady Novitsky. The stated purpose of its activities is the coordination of national and local state bodies on ensuring the preparation and normal implementation of the sowing campaign, storage of fodder, harvesting of crops and other agricultural activities. The headquarters, headed by Vice-Premier Alyaxandar Popkov, includes 15 people, among whom are the Minister of agriculture and foodstuffs Mikhail Rusy, the Minister of natural resources and environment Leonty Khoryzhnik, deputy Foreign Minister Alyaxandar Kyrlypo and chair of the “Belagroprombank’s” directorate Alyaxandar Gavrushev. The concomitant headquarters and operative groups were created in the country’s regions and districts.
A meeting between the wives of the repressed Belarusian politicians – Irina Krasovskaya, Svetlana Zavadskaya and Tatiana Klimova – with the deputy assistant to the US Secretary of State Steven Pifer took place in Minsk today. In course of the meeting the sides discussed the situation with the investigation into the disappearances and imprisonments, which they characterized as upsetting – the authorities don’t even consider the political version of the kidnappings, whereas their families are subject to intense pressure, which was the reason why Gennady Karpenko’s family had to leave the country. The oppositionists’ spouses also recalled the support, which Lukashenka’s regime enjoys from Russia. Taking into account that the Russian president Vladimir Putin intends to rendezvous in the near future with George Bush, they handed over to him a letter with a request to raise the disappearance issue with Putin. Following read the full text of the letter:
At yesterday’s Olympic ice hockey quarterfinals in Salt Lake City-2002 Belarus defeated the most skilled team of the tournament with a 4:3 victory, thus advancing to semifinals where it would meet Canada, which outscored Finland in a tight 2:1 win. The Charter’97 organizing committee congratulates our hockey players and particularly the goaltender Andrei Mezin with incredible performance on ice. Good job, guys! Make it gold!
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry considers he possibility to make a decision to suspend membership of Belarus in the OSCE. It was reported by the knowledgeable diplomatic sources in Minsk. But the official representatives of the FM keep away from commenting on this issue. According to the text of the statement of the permanent representative of Belarus in the OSCE Viktar Haisionak addressed to the OSCE chairman, Minsk is critical of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly activities, which leadership, in Belarus’ opinion, allows “demonstration of double standards and obvious legal nihilism, disregard of the rulings adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly itself”, -- gazeta.ru informs.
An activist of the Young Front Vasil Parfiankou was sentenced to 10 days of arrest for his part in the rally on the St. Valentine’s Day. Other detained participants are to pay huge fines, making 4 million 450 thousand rubles in total. Ten days of arrest have become the last sentence in the case of the detained for St. Valentine’s Day’s march. The cases of more than twenty under aged participants will be considered in commissions on juvenile delinquency in the executive committees. Their parents will be fined too.
The Homel blanch of the Committee on Organized Criminality and Corruption has arrested two executives of the Homel department of Emergency Ministry. The director of the service Alyaxei Maslkalchuk and deputy head of Buda-Kashaliova rescue team Mikalai Zalesky were incarcerated.
Tariffs for transportation of the gas inside the country and by pumping the Russian gas to Belarus for independent manufacturers from March 1 grows by 20 percent. This decision was made on Wednesday by the Federal Energy Commission (FEC). According to the chair of the commission G. Kutovoj, on March 14 the government at its meeting to consider the investment program of “Gazprom”.
As the Homel regional statistics department informs, in the beginning of February approximately every six worker received partially or had not received at all salary for the first months of 2002. Despite of the declarations that the salary was almost completely paid before the new year, the statistics proves that more than 100,000 people celebrated the holiday without money they had earned.
Miners of Salihorsk are set to institute a collective labor dispute with the employer on the issue of trade union dues’ transfer through accounts departments. On February 19 a conference of the Belarusian Trade Union of the Chemical Industry and “Belaruskalij” adopted the claims to the employer. The miners demand the leadership of the enterprise stick to the collective contract. In particular, the article about trade union dues paying through accounts departments and their transfer to the account of the trade union organization of the Belarusian Chemical Trade Union. In case of negative answer in keeping with the acting laws a procedure of the collective labor dispute will be started.
For the first half year of 2001 the unemployment rate in Homel region was 2.4 %, and for the whole year it was equal to 2.6%. The growth his insignificant. But other indices verify that the unemployment was artificially restrained. In the first half year 21.4 thousand people worked in a schedule of part-time work, about 7 thousands were sent to unpaid leaves by administration. I the end of the year these figures still have grown: 36.5 and 26.9 thousands people respectively.
A container with 50 kilograms of mercury was found in the basement of a building number 105 in the Partyzansky avenue in Minsk. Rescue team who arrived at the place, took the container out of a heap of construction rubbish. Fortunately, the container was hermetic and the metal was not spilled. Otherwise the evacuation of all the inhabitants of the block of flats would be obligatory. The investigation is carried out.