Trial over the “Pagonya” journalists Nikolai Markevich and Pavel Mozheiko was again put off to tomorrow, June 6. The journalists’ defenders claimed that judge Tatyana Klimova displays clear or indirect bias in the outcome of the case under consideration. The defendants demanded that the judge be replaced after she turned down two of their petitions.
Lithuanian deputy in the PACE Vatslav Stankevich predicts that the deportation from Belarus of the OSCE mission’s representative Andrew Carpenter will provoke consideration of the “Belarusian issue” at the June PACE session. Moreover, according to the parliamentarian, the problem will also be raised during the scheduled June visit to Belarus by the PACE delegation. Stankevich hopes that the delegation’s members will uphold the initiative on setting up the PACE working group, which would examine the situation around the scandalous disappearances in Belarus.
A picket of protest against criminal persecution of the independent newspaper “Pagonya’s” journalists Nikolai Markevich and Pavel Mozheiko took place opposite the Belarusian embassy in Warsaw. The action’s participants, representing Belarusian community in Poland and Polish youth NGOs, raised banners in Polish and Belarusian: “We are with “Pagonya”!”, “Freedom of speech to “Pagonya”!”, “Stop political terror!”. “Trial proceedings over the “Pagonya” journalists is the most typical violation of fundamental human rights in Belarus,” – read the flyers, disseminated during the picket.
During Alexander Lukashenko’s June 4 meeting they discussed the problem of imposing tight control over the course of the entrance exams into the country’s higher education institutions. Lukashenko underlined that this year they will apply harsh measures in order to prevent briberies and power abuses. Moreover, he pledged that they would attract the special services to control the entrance exams. He entitled head of the Committee for state control Anatoly Tozik to strictly watch over the process, disclosing all the occurring violations. The heads of universities are told to “be ready for surprises, which will surely follow.”
The authorities of Pinsk did not allow entrepreneur Sergei Kastukovich to publish the newspaper “Zerkalo”. The applicant deems that such a decision can be explained by the authorities’ desire to avoid public scrutiny and criticism, adding that he would appeal against the ruling in the economic court. At the moment there exist no independent papers in Pinsk, which would present views on the ongoing processes in the town alternative to the official ones.
On Tuesday the French Foreign Ministry called on the Belarusian authorities to change their decision on the termination of mission’s activities of the territory of the Republic of Belarus. This, reports RI “Novosti” correspondent, was announced on Tuesday by deputy of the official representative of the French FM Bernard Valero.
Ahead of the meeting between Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg on June 11 the wives of the repressed Belarusian opposition politicians Ludmila Karpenko, Irina Krasovskaya, Svetlana Zavadskaya, Zinaida Gonchar and Olga Krasovskaya addressed the president of Russia with another open letter, in which they plead with the Russian leader to help solve the problems, associated with the investigation into their husbands’ abductions. Appeal by the women will be handed over to the leader of the Russian Union of right forces Boris Nemtsov by the chairman of the United Civil Party Anatoly Lebedko, who left for Moscow on June 4. Following comes the full text of the address:
The Polish Foreign Ministry is alarmed by the trial proceedings over the independent Grodno newspaper “Pagonya”. In a statement, circulated by the Polish FM and passed over to Interfax from the Polish embassy in Minsk, it is written that the process testifies to the “systematic violations in Belarus of one of the key democratic principles – the freedom of speech”. The document also reads that the Polish side “won’t remain indifferent in the future” to the violations of democratic norms and standards in Belarus. As you know, trial over the journalists of the shut newspaper “Pagonya” Nikolai Markevich and Pavel Mozheiko will resume today, June 5, in the Leninsky district court of Grodno.
Belarusian soccer fans intend to hold daily actions of protest against the impossibility to watch WC-2002 games. Today, for a third time in three days they will re-assemble at 6.30p.m. in the Yakub Kolas square. There, in the very heart of the Belarusian capital, they will play a game of soccer. By so doing the Belarusian soccer fans will protest against no coverage from Japan and South Korea. The Belarusian national TV didn’t purchase the rights to broadcast the games from the proprietor “Kirch Media”, whereas Russian channels ORT and RTR encode their signals to Belarus. Visit the permanent site of the Belarusian football fans at http://wc-belarus.by.ru/
Agents of the Committee for fighting organized criminality and corruption in Grodno, along with the police operatives, detained upon suspicion of numerous bribery acts deputy director of “Grodnotorgservice”. This joint stock company, where 51% of shares belong to the local executive council, was placed in charge of distributing trade places at the town’s markets.
The Moscow representation of the Russia-Belarus “union” is totally clueless about the cancellation of Alexander Lukashenko’s soon visit to Saratov. As you remember, the human rights representative in the Saratov region Alexander Lando stated at the press-conference that Alexander Lukashenko ruled to cancel the visit to Saratov scheduled for June 9-10 because they will discuss during the June 13 legal PACE commission’s session in Saratov the situation with human rights in Belarus.
Joint Venture “Mobile TeleSystems” finishes preparations for launching into the commercial operation its mobile network in Belarus. If nothing unexpected happens in the next month, in late June the Minskers will be able to sign up for the “world of your freedom”, as the famous commercial goes.
Belarus is interested in Tatarstan’s businessmen and enterprises’ taking part in the privatization and joint stock transformation of the country’s petroleum complex, said Alexander Lukashenko during his meeting with the Tatarstan’s Prime Minister Rustam Minnihanov.