The Prosecutor’s Office has issued an official warning to the reporter of the Radio Svaboda Algerd Nevyarowski. The reason for the warning was the article at the site of Radio Svaboda with the pictures of a polling station during the early voting at the parliamentary elections and referendum. The snapshots were made on November 16. It was written in the article that the voters received ballot papers with already checked answer “yes” for the question of the referendum. The journalist was told in the Prosecutor’s Office that the information spread by him is not true. These ballot-papers allegedly had a mark about cancelled registration of the parliamentary candidate V. Palevikova.
The members of Young Front Andrey Lahavier and Siarhey Ivanow were detained by the police on 12 October in Pravda Street by the police of Kastrychnitski Borough Board of Internal Affairs for posting stickers of the People’s coalition “5+” and “Say NO to Lukashenka!”. The police materials against the detainees were considered by the administrative commissions of Kastrychnitski and Pershamayski boroughs. The rulings of the commissions to fine Lahavier and Ivanow for violation of part 3 of article #172 were sent by post after the ten-day term which could be used for complaining against them. That’s why the members of Young Front complained to the prosecutor’s office against such violation of their rights.
The secretariat of the Union of Belarusian Writers is situated in two rooms of the House of Literary Worker. There’s also the library and the stacks that occupies more than 700 square meters. The rent for the stacks is 10 euro per square meter monthly. What concerns the usage of the large hall for writers’ parties, the decision about the fate of the building will be decided by the presidential administration that declared the building its property in 1997, which was the beginning of the conflict. The former head of the Union of Writers Volha Ipatava says:
The member of Belarusian Helsinki Committee Uladzimir Amosaw was an observer at election circuit #89 in Polatsk district. On 13 October, during the early voting, he phoned to the district police board and said that the head of the commission sat in a separate room with his friends and drank alcoholic beverages.
Frunzensky district court of Minsk delayed trials against “Zubr” activists Andrey Baranau and Maksim Venyarsky because of their demand of lawyer. Andrey Baranau will be tried on December, 10, Venyarsky on December, 17. It is flagrant that judge Kornev did not demand police to change article under which Baranau and Venyarsky are accused. They were arrested for distributing newspapers. But according to protocol they are accused under article 167-1 that contemplates up to 15 days of arrest or huge fine for participating in street action.
“Zubr” activists Maxim Venyarski and Andrei Baranaw have spent a night in prison. They were arrested for handing out a newspaper “Vybar” (“Choice”). Young people were detained by officers of Frunzensky police department by the metro station “”Pushkinskaya”. Reports have been drawn up against them for violation of the article 167-1 of the Administrative Code (violation of the order of street mass rallies (!)). After that they have spent a night in the special pre-trial detention center in the Akrestsyn Street. Today Venyarski and Baranay are to appear in court today. They would be sentenced to 15 days of arrest if found guilty, the Zubr press service informs.
US State Secretary Colin Powell slammed Belarus as what he called “an egregious example of a participating state failing to live up to its OSCE commitments on human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”
The owner and chief editor of the embattled weekly Mestnaya Gazeta in Volkovysk, Grodno region, hopes to restore the circulation to its original level after a printing house in Russia’s Smolensk agreed to print the newspaper.
The Minsk District Court starts hearing a criminal case against Mikhail Marinich on December 23, Vera Stremkovskaya, the politician’s lawyer, told BelaPAN. She said that the judge, Lyudmila Dolzhenko, had rejected all petitions by the defense. The politician will stand trial on charges of “illegal actions regarding firearms, ammunition and explosives” and “theft through abuse of office, committed by an organized group, or grand theft.”
A judge of the Polotsk City Court on December 6 fined a Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC) observer in the October 12-17 parliamentary elections and referendum 48,000 rubels ($22) for alleged slander against an election official.
Members of the German Bundestag are drafting a new resolution on Belarus, which would give an assessment to the country’s recent parliamentary elections and national referendum and outline measures against the Belarusian authorities, German MP Joerg Tauss said in an interview with a BelaPAN correspondent in Berlin.
The German Trade Union Federation (GTUF), the largest trade union group in the country, helps defend trade union rights in Belarus through the German government and international organizations, Torben Albrecht, head of the GTUF department for European policies, said in an interview with BelaPAN on December 7.
The European Union has agreed to ban entry to its territory to the chairperson of the Central Election Committee of Belarus Lidziya Yarmoshyna and to the Commander of Minsk Riot Squad Yuri Padabed, the Reuters informs. EU foreign ministers agreed in November on sanctions against the Belarus authorities involving travel bans on officials and freezing high-level links between member states and Minsk. International observers have branded as flawed Belarus elections and the referendum that scrapped a rule limiting Lukashenka to two terms as president. The EU banned four other top Belarus officials from its territory in September, protesting over the unexplained disappearances of three opposition politicians and a journalist in 1999 and 2000. Among them where former Prosecutor General, now the chief of staff of the presidential administration Viktar Shejman, Interior Minister Uladzimir Navumaw, Sports Minister Yuri Sivakow and high-ranking officer of the special forces Colonel Dzmitry Pawlichenka. Soon after the USA had taken the same step.
The government of Belarus is to decrease the level of governmental regulation of business to increase presence of foreign investors in the country. This point of view, PRIME-TASS informs, was expressed by the head of the International Financial Corporation (IFC) in Belarus Ivan Ivanov, delivering a speech in Minsk on Tuesday at the international inter-bank conference “Bank, Capital and Investment in the Beginning of the 21st Century”.