| POLITICS |
George Bush Mentions Belarus
Kare Volan: Chances for Authorities – Hindrances for Opposition
In his proclamation on the Universal Human Rights Day eve the President of America George W. Bush mentioned Belarus in one list with such anti-democratic countries as Zimbabwe, Iran, Cuba and North Korea. “Across the globe, we will continue to stand with those who fight for fundamental freedoms, whether they be democracy activists in Cuba, university faculty and students in Iran, opposition leaders in Zimbabwe, journalists in Belarus, or the people of North Korea who have never known freedom,” – said he in his appeal to the nation. Read below the full transcript of his speech.
16:49, 13/12/2002, “Narodnaya Volya”
Human Rights Advocates Protest Electoral Law Violations
Head of the OSCE mission for monitoring elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova, Monte-Negro, Serbia, Croatia and Ukraine in 1996-1998, member of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Kare Volan shared his vision of the forthcoming local elections in Belarus. He read out the report “International standards for elections and the Belarusian electoral law. Legal analysis”.
Vatslav Stankevich: Ushopchik’s New Appointment Alarms Europe
“Vesna” human rights center “decisively protests” flagrant violations of the democracy principle in the formation of territorial commission for the elections into the local councils of deputies. As said in the “Vesna” center’s statement, refusal to include democrats and free NGO people into the commissions testify to the blatant violation by the authorities of the Electoral code. BelaPAN reports that they mean article 35 of the Code, enabling the political parties and public associations to nominate their representatives into the concomitant territorial structures.
Viktor Ivashkevich Exiled to Baranovichi
Deputy Defense Minister of Belarus Vladimir Ushopchik, whom they consider a war criminal in Belarus, was appointed head of the working group for organizing elections in the army. Deputy of the Lithuanian Sojm, PACE rapporteur for Belarus Vatslav Stankevich called this decision negative for the future democratization of Belarus. “Belarus has a chance to show through these local elections to the world that it follows the democratic path. However, when such individuals as general Ushopchik are appointed to such posts, nothing good will come out of it. The beginning is really discouraging. The European community will perceive it quite negatively. Not only in Lithuania, but in Europe also they know the man pretty well. So, let me reiterate it once again, this will be a negative fact for the democratization of Belarus and preparation to the upcoming elections,” – said he in an interview to Radio Svaboda.
Norway Imposes Lukashenko Travel Ban
Editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Rabochy” Viktor Ivashkevich, sentenced by the court to 2 years of freedom restriction for publishing an article “A Thief Belongs to Prison”, which, according to the jury, defamed Alexander Lukashenko, will set off to serve his term to the Baranovichi social labor free settlement. Ivashkevich will be leaving Minsk on Monday, December 16 at 12.00 from Varvasheni str., 8 (BPF department). As you remember, they never amnestied him and the journalist will have to work for two full years.
11:05, 13/12/2002, Radio Svoboda
Europeans Hopeful OSCE AMG May Resume Operation in January
Yesterday Norway ruled to ban access into the country for Alexander Lukashenko and representatives of the supreme Belarusian leadership. Thus, the Norwegian authorities upheld the position of the 14 EU member-states and the USA, which imposed similar travel bans in November. By so doing, Norway, which is not EU member, protests human rights violations in Belarus.
Belarus Builds Up Ties with Libya
“I hope that the Belarusian side and OSCE will soon reach a mutually acceptable agreement, which would allow OSCE to open its representation in Belarus in January”, - said the OSCE secretary general Yan Kubis, speaking before the CoE Council of Ministers on December 11 in Strasbourg. He also reminded that negotiations on the new OSCE mission’s mandate started this week in Vienna (Austria).
11:01, 13/12/2002, AFN
Iranian Delegation En Route to Minsk
December 11, 2002 saw a meeting of the Belarusian ambassador in Libya Alexander Derevyashko with the president of the Union of trade, industrial and agricultural chambers of Libya Abdurakhman Shater. As said at the briefing by the deputy head of the FM’s department of information of Belarus Andrei Savinykh, in course of the meeting the sides exchanged opinions about the condition and perspectives of bilateral trade-economic cooperation development, major ways of implementing the Protocol on the cooperation between the Belarusian trade-industrial chamber and the Union of trade, industrial and agricultural chambers of Libya.
Within the framework of the agreements, signed in course of the 5th session of the Belarusian-Iranian mixed commission on trade-economic cooperation issues, the embassy of Belarus in Iran, along with the Iranian embassy in Belarus and the Ministry of trade of Iran organized visit to Minsk of a group of Iranian entrepreneurs, said at the briefing deputy head of the department of information of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry Andrei Savinykh.