On November 29 the session of the steering committee of the European collation “Free Belarus” took place. The coordinator of the civil initiative “Charter’97” Zmitser Bandarenka has made a report about the visit of the European coalition members to Kyiv. Bandarenka also informed about the incident with him and his friends on the way home. The steering committee of the “European coalition” declared its protest against illegal detention, arrest and battery of Zmitser Bandarenka, Zmitser Barodka, Alyaksandr Atroschankaw and Uladzimer Kobets, and demanded to punish the organizers of the provocation. At the session a decision was accepted to carry out a protest rally on December 10, 2004 in Minsk, dated for the Human Right Day.
Several Belarusian political scientists noted that Aleksandr Lukashenko’s decision to pick Viktor Sheiman as a replacement for Ural Latypov in the post of the Presidential Administration’s head was part of a broader campaign to oust officials having close ties with Moscow.
On November 17 Alyaksandr Lukashenka by his decree approved the new Regulations on Awarding with Scientific Degrees and academic status. Probably, paragraph number 74 is the most interesting in this document: in cases of committing a transgression incompatible with the educational activities citizens could be deprived of academic degrees”.
Siarhey Vysotski, the leader of the unregistered Party of Freedom, informed the “Viasna” Human Rights Center. According to his words Jahor Babrou was detained on October 21 for participating in the action of protest against the falsified results of the Referendum and the elections. But on that day he was set free but on November 29 policemen came to him and brought to the court of the Central district in Minsk. The court resolved to charge him with three days of administrative arrest behind the bars. “I ma surprised by the fact that a person can be like that detained in a month after the action”, Siarhey Vysotski says.
Facing a relentless tide of opposition protests, embattled Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said yesterday a new election might be the only way out of a spiralling crisis that threatens to split this former Soviet republic between the pro-Russia east and European-leaning west. Kuchma warned that "we cannot in any instance allow the disintegration or division of Ukraine."
The departing Ukrainian president, Leonid Kuchma, said Monday that he favors holding new elections if that would bring the country`s political crisis to a halt. "If we really want to preserve peace and consensus and build this just democratic society," Kuchma said in a statement, "let us have new elections."
On November 29 participants of the protest in front of the Russian Embassy in Brussels, about thirty of them, demanded Russia to stop interference into internal affairs of Ukraine and Belarus. According to the protesters, Moscow actively interfered in the election campaigns of these two countries, trying to support political forces desirable for Russia. “We have come to the Russian Embassy to demand freedom for Ukraine and Belarus. We are very thankful for the Belarusians for support. We are together here, and only united we can win!” told the protest’s organizer Olexandr Kirienko.
Two suspects in the murder of American journalist Paul Klebnikov who were detained in Minsk have been transferred to a pretrial detention center in Moscow, Russian media outlets reported. Ethnic Chechens Valid Agayev and Kazbek Dukuzov were busted in the Belarusian capital during a special operation conducted by the Belarusian interior ministry’s organized crime unit and Committee for State Security (KGB).
Ivan Kotlyar, chairman of the Brest-based Belarusian Section of the International Human Rights Society, has petitioned Labor Minister Antonina Morova to make an all-out effort to eliminate unemployment among Gypsies. In his petition, Mr. Kotlyar says that some 95 percent of all adults in the Gypsy community are jobless.