By the rulijng of the Supreme Court of April 16 the Republican youth public association “Novaya Gruppa” (New Group, NG) was liquidated. The pretext for liquidation was the legal address not corresponding to the real one.
Belarus`s human rights record remained "one of the worst in Europe" in 2003 and was characterized by "the almost complete absence of democracy and respect for the principle of the rule of law". This conclusion was made in an annual report on violations of human rights in Belarus. The report was prepared by the International Helsinki Federation [for Human Rights] and released on 15 April. The country has practically no institutions "where officials are elected in accordance with democratic procedures: the majority of them are appointed either directly by the president or by his administration", the document reads. Therefore Belarus does not abide by the principle of the rule of law and "the influence of the authorities is permanently increasing".
On April 17-18 in the evening the transimmtionof the TV Channel “Rossiya” in Belarus has been halted. The officially announced ‘preventive repair works’ have coincided with the Saturday TV programm “Zerkalo” by Nikolay Svanidze which was focused on Belarusian issues, and the Sunday program “Vesti nedeli”. The state Russian TV is indignant with this situation, Mr. Svanidze told. “I think that all these technical excuses are nonsense, the coincidences of this kind are impossible, and we all know about it very well. It is clear that the decision to switch off the channel for some time has been made after the announcements about the content of the “Zerkalo” program were receioved in Belarus,” – told Nikolay Svanidze to Radio Svaboda.
About 80 Zubr activists took part in the action, which has been held in Minsk in April, 17. The action was dedicated to the prominent people missing in Belarus. The portraits of the missing Yuriy Zakharenko, Victor Gonchar, Anatoliy Krasovskiy, Dmitriy Zavadskiy and the killed under obscure circumstances Gennadiy Karpenko in their hands, the Zubr activists lined up on the two sides of Scorina Avenue.
The flight from Moscow to Minsk is numbered 1983, which seems entirely fitting. The Tupolev-134 that flies the route every day might as well be a time machine taking travelers back to that year, when both cities were still part of a Soviet Union that experienced neither glasnost nor perestroika.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has learned that prosecutors in Belarus` capital, Minsk, have suspended their criminal inquiry into the July 7, 2000, abduction of Dmitry Zavadsky, a 29-year-old cameraman for the Russian public television network ORT, who disappeared in July 2000.
Independent weekly newspaper Den is facing the threat of eviction from Grodno, just days after police seized every copy of the newspaper. Mikolai Markevich, former editor in chief of the newspaper Pagonya, shut down in 2001, took over Den after serving 18 months hard labour for insulting President Alexander Lukashenko.
Dear President, After all the years that passed after the "disappearance"of: Yuri Zakharenko, Victor Gonchar, Anatoly Krasovsky and Dmitri Zavadsky, you could expect that people would stop to be astonished and indignant about the fact that this happened: the kindapping and of course the killing of four citizens of your country and the fact that your government apparently does not have any interest in searching and revealing the answer on the questions of: by whom, why, how these crimes were committed.
For the second year in a row, the UN Human Rights Commission has voted to condemn abuses by the governments of Belarus and Turkmenistan. The Geneva-based commission this year has also taken the extra step of appointing a special rapporteur to investigate rights issues in Belarus. The moves were part of a series of votes on country-specific situations, including a defeat of an EU-sponsored measure to criticize Russian actions in Chechnya.
In Alexander Lukashenko`s Belarus, this was considered a threatening gathering. Two human-rights lawyers were making tea on an ancient gas stove while Zinaida Gonchar, the wife of a former opposition leader who disappeared without a trace almost five years ago, updated journalists about the search for her husband. "I still don`t know what happened to him, and I don`t know what to do about it," Ms. Gonchar said, her eyes glowing with deeply embedded anger.
In Belarus police officers have detained suspects in the burglary and desecration of the house of the famous Belarusian writer Ales Adamovich in the village of Hlusha (Mahilyow region, Babrujsk district). As the agency “RosBalt” found out from the department of information and PR of the Interior Ministry of Belarus, they were two local dwellers, teenagers aged 16 and 17.