| POLITICS |
Action of Solidarity with Arrested ZUBRs Underway
Belarus Hits Bottom of World’s Birth Rate List
The action “Send greetings behind bars”, declared on August 23 by the youth resistance movement ZUBR in support of the boys from Borisov – Sergei Pezkin, Igor Zakrevsky and Ales Golub, continues. Young patriots were sentenced on August 19 to five and ten days of arrest for picketing the Russian embassy in Minsk. One of the three – Ales Golub – was released from custody on August 24. Protesting against the arbitrary verdict, the incarcerated men have been holding a hunger-strike in jail for almost a week. Young patriots received dozens of letters of solidarity at their e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
. Among the supporters were not only their compatriots from Belarus. Citizens of the United States, Canada, West European countries and chair of the BNR Council Ivonka Survilla forwarded their messages to ZUBRs. All letters will be shortly passed over to the convicts. Here are some of them:
Death in Custody
Belarus is the country with the lowest birth rate in Europe and the world. According to the 2000 data, the birth rate ratio amounted to only 9,4% here, while the average figure worldwide is 25% and in Europe – 11%. Such data are conveyed in the National report on progress in sustainable development, prepared by the Belarusian experts along with the UN. The report is drawn for the international Congress on sustainable development, due to get started on August 26 in Johannesburg (South Africa), reports BelaPAN.
11:15, 26/08/2002, “Belarusskaya Gazeta”
ZUBR Activist Ales Golub At Freedom; Sergei Pezkin, Igor Zakrevsky On Hunger-Strike for 1Week
Overnight August 12 there happened a tragic occurrence in the Mstislavl pre-trial jail: a prisoner, somebody Raichenko died from the spine injury with brain hemorrhage. Last week police found the murderer – a duty officer Kvetkovsky, who brutally beat the detainee with a rubber club. The procuracy instituted legal action on the matter. Meantime, two more people died in jail: on August 19 there died from epilepsy a Brest convict, arrested for petty hooliganism; on August 20 a tramp died in the Minsk confinement center. The cause of his death is currently being established.
Russia Should Not Harbor Illusions Says Belarusian FM
Following five days of detention, police released from custody on August 24 the activist of the ZUBR movement Ales Golub. As you know, three ZUBR
s from Borisov were sentenced on August 19 to five and ten days of detention for picketing the Russian embassy in Minsk. Today two more guys from Borisov remain in detention – Sergei Pezkin and Igor Zakrevsky. As a sign of protest, ZUBR
activists continue their hunger-strike. After his liberation Ales Golub said that the boys are acting heroically and do not intend to cease their action until the final release moment. ZUBR
s will be set free only on August 29.
“We plainly told the new Russian leadership for the first time that Belarus will not become a constituent part of Russia neither with its whole territory nor in parts,”Belarusian Orthodox Church Sets Conditions for Pope’s Visit
– said in an August 23 interview to the Belarusian Television the Minister of foreign affairs of Belarus Mikhail Khvostov. According to him, “Russia makes a mistake when she tries to swallow Belarus. The two countries will never form the EU type of union and one should not harbor illusions for that.”
A meeting between the Moscow Patriarch and the Pope is possible solely if Vatican fulfills a number of conditions, set before it by the Moscow eparchy, BelaPAN was told by the press-secretary of the Belarusian Orthodox exarchate Andrei Petrashkevich, who commented on yesterday’s statement by Lukashenko.
Russia to Levy Customs Duties on Belarus
The constituent assembly of the United Social-Democratic Party was held in Minsk on August 24. The party sprang up as a result of the amalgamation of the Belarusian female party “Nadzeya”, the Belarusian social-democratic party (BSDP) and part of the Belarusian social-democratic Gromada (BSDG), run by Stanislav Shushkevich.
11:04, 26/08/2002, SeverInform
Grodno Businessmen Forced to Finance Public Transport
Press-secretary of the Vologda customs office Vladimir Zheleznyakov told SeverInform that up until recently they would not levy taxes on transported goods from those, with whom Russia signed a Customs union, that is with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgizia and Tajikistan.
Russia Tightens Control Over Foreign Travelers
Upon the decision of the regional Council of deputies the individual traders of Grodno region will donate funds for the development of the town’s infrastructure and transport fee for the renewal and restoration of urban and commuter transport, “Interfax” was told on Friday by the chairman of the regional Council of deputies Arkadiy Karput.
11:02, 26/08/2002, NTVRU
The Federal migration service of Russian Interior Ministry intends to control more thoroughly the foreign guests, coming to Russia in search of jobs, said head of the department colonel-general Andrei Chernenko. According to him, Russia has already passed a law “On legal status of foreign residents in Russia,” due to enter into effect on November 1, 2002.