On September 18 the judge of the Leninsky district court of Minsk Elena Tereshkova fined female Minsker Oksana Tereshkova over $1000 for alleged “violation of picketing rules” (article 167/1 part of Administrative code). In an interview to BelaPAN Novikova said that she was apprehended by police in the morning of September 18 for raising a banner “Why did you give to “Gasprom” $360mln?” at the president’s administration.
President of the Belarusian Congress of democratic trade unions Alexander Yaroshuk was found guilty of violating article 166/1 of the Administrative code for allegedly manifested disrespect to the court, being sentenced by the Leninsky district court of Minsk to 10 days of arrest. The reason for the arrest of the trade union leader was his article in the newspaper “Narodnaya Volya” of August 21 this year, in which he commented on the shutdown by the authorities of the Belarusian trade union of aviation dispatchers.
On September 10 a coalition of political parties, consisting of PCB, BPF, BPL, BSDG and UCP passed a statement “in support of the independent trade union’s movement”. This statement, containing, according to the FTU presidium, inadmissible commentaries about the Federation of trade unions of Belarus, is in itself a flagrant interference into the official trade union’s affairs and discredits not only its leadership but also millions of workers, which it unites. The Justice Ministry assumes that this fact may well provoke splits in the country’s trade union movement, destabilization and escalation of tensions in the political and social situation inside the country. As pinpointed by deputy Justice Minister Oleg Kravtsov, under such circumstances the Ministry will react to that in compliance with the acting legislation and pass measures, which would be adequate to the committed violations, reports FTU’s site.
The meeting of PACE deputies with the National Humanities Lyceum of Yakub Kolas was held on September 17 in Minsk. As BelaPAN was told by the founder and head of this educational institution Vladimir Kolos, the consultative studies, which are being organized with the Lyceum’s students in various buildings of the Belarusian capital, were visited by the chairman of the PACE Subcommittee for Belarus Jonas Chekuolis and PACE political secretary Rudiger Bossou.
Amsterdam affiliate of the universal human rights watchdog organization Amnesty International organized an action of solidarity with the ZUBR movement. AI activists commenced the signature collection procedure under a motion to stop political repressions and freedom of speech violations in Belarus among the students of Dutch universities. The goal of the action was to draw the public’s attention to the violation of fundamental democratic principles in Belarus and inform others about opposition’s fight against the dictatorship.
Today in the Livadian Palace of Yalta there will open the CIS heads of states’ summit. However, the Commonwealth’s problems at the meeting of 12 countries’ leaders in Yalta will be but of a secondary significance. The main issue on their agenda is that Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine intend to sign agreement on the Common economic space, of which the presidents of the countries agree back in February. However, according to most experts, even one day prior to the signing of document, one cannot say with all certainty in what format it will be signed.
On September 17, 2003 the Lithuanian embassy in Minsk hosted the meeting of the EU member-states and EU candidates’ ambassadors with the members of the Belarusian independent organizations: the Comradeship of the Belarusian language, human rights center “Vesna”, Belarusian Association of Journalists, resource center “Supolnast”, civil association “Legal assistance to population”, Grodno association “Ratusha”, Brest-based “Vezha”, Mogilev-headquartered “Kola Syabrou”, Vitebsk branch of Lev Sapega foundation and other non-governmental organizations. The meeting was provoked mainly by a complex situation in the relations between the Belarusian NGOs and authorities.
“Belarus gets isolated, Moscow runs out of patience, merger with Russia looks doubtful,” – writes the Swiss newspaper “Neue Zuercher Zeitung”. According to the periodical’s correspondent for Eastern Europe Ulrich Schmitt, who lately paid visit to both Belarus and Russia, the Belarusian leader spoiled relations not only with the West. If the Russian-Belarusian unification ever takes place, it will surely happen after a Moscow-imposed scenario, claims the journalist.