VIENNA, 20 June 2002 – In a report to the OSCE Permanent Council, Freimut Duve, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, today strongly criticized the recent statement made by a Presidential Administration official in Belarus listing authors who should not be published and read in that country.
Editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Rabochy” Viktor Ivashkevich learnt about the institution of legal charges against him under three articles of the Criminal Code. He can get up to 5 years of jail for publishing in the special issue of “Rabochy” a material “Criminal must go to jail”, which was based on the information from Internet and read about Lukashenko’s earnings. The publication was seized in August last year. The legal action can be passed over to court next week.
The Russian PEN-Center, an international writers’ human rights organization, forwarded an open letter to Alexander Lukashenko, pointing at the human rights and freedom of speech abuses, which are commonplace in the Belarus of today. Read below the full text:
“We get millions of dollars from Middle East, Africa, Asia and CIS”, - said Alexander Lukashenko speaking at the June 19 seminar of the local officials in Mogilev. He added: “Just like you, I can say that I want to go into Europe. But this approach has its own price. What do we have to pay to go there? Russia made her conclusions. And you know, how it paid. I’m also being told to pay, not only politically but also economically. And I’m not ready to pay such a huge price.”
Holding this autumn the March “For Better Life!” will become a topic of a press-conference, due to take place today, June 20, at 1p.m. in Charter’97 press-center’s office. The press-conference will involve human rights defender Dmitry Bondarenko, historian Valentin Golubev, economist Ludmila Gryaznova, diplomat Andrei Sannikov, filmmaker Yuri Khaschevatsky and journalist Valery Schukin. Read information updates on our site shortly after the end of the conference.
The International League for Human Rights – authoritative human rights watchdog with a consultative status in UN ECOSOC – forwarded an open letter to Alexander Lukashenko, in which they manifest their dissatisfaction over the refusal to grant Klimov a stamp, allowing him to travel abroad. By so doing, says ILHR executive director Cathy Fitzpatrik, the authorities prevent him from taking advantage of the League’s invitation to travel to the 11th Annual Parliamentary Assembly of OSCE, which will be held in Berlin in July 6-11, 2002. Read below the full transcript of the letter.
Director of one of the Security Council departments Igor Golubev fell to death this night from a tenth floor of a multi-story hotel in Mogilev. According to the medics, Golubev wasn’t drunk at the moment of his death. As the preliminary version goes, the statesman didn’t feel well and lost balance from dizziness. According to another version, the man’s ID fell out of his pocket and he automatically tried to catch it.