The building of the Minsk Protestant church “New Life” (Fellowship of the Churches of the Full Gospel) is under a threat of being ruined. The Administration of the Moscow district of Minsk has demanded to liquidate the “unauthorized construction carried out by a religious community” on its land in Kavalyou Street, 72 in Minsk (vicinity of the former village of Sukharava). Otherwise the building would be destroyed by “community services”. The Administration of Moscow district wrote it in the letter received by the church “New Life” on December 14. The letter was signed by N.V.Skipar, first deputy of the head of the Moscow district Administration of Minsk, the human rights center “Viasna” informs.
On December 15 the court of Lenin district of Minsk has considered the claim of former officer of the Investigation Committee of the Interior Ministry of Belarus Anatol Smalyantsou to the editorial office of the newspaper “Svobodnye Novosti +”, the United Civil Party and Pavel Uladzimirau.
On December 23 at 10 a.m. in he court of Minsk district of the town of Zaslaul a court trial of the case of Mikhail Marynich, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus, former Minister of Foreign Economic Relations of the Republic of Belarus, Member of Parliament of the 12th Supreme Soviet, is to take place. Many Belarusians who disagree with the repressions of the Belarusian regime against its opponents will come to support Mikhail Marynich this day. “I view the trial of Mikhail Marynich as a political order to isolate a strong politician and public figure, who has influence both in the West and in Russia,” told the coordinator of the European coalition “Free Belarus”, international coordinator of the civil initiative Charter’97 Andrei Sannikov.
Press secretary of the current Secretary General of the European Union, the current High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU, Javier Solana commented to Radio Svaboda on the decision to extend the visa blacklist for the Belarusian officials from 4 to 6 persons. Lidziya Yarmoshyna, chairwoman of the central election commission, and Yuri Padabed, commander of the interior ministry`s special forces (Minsk SWAT) were included in the list. Christina Gallach said that it is not excluded that the list could be extended.
The Independent Institute for Social, Economic and Political Studies (IISEPS) on Wednesday issued a statement accusing the Belarusian authorities of exerting pressure on its staff. The statement was released after officers of the Committee for State Security (KGB) conducted a two-hour search at the apartment of the sociological center’s deputy head, Aleksandr Sosnov. The KGB agents said they were looking for any evidence against a suspect in a bank loan scam who lived in the apartment before Mr. Sosnov.
Members of Young Front in Zhodzina rented a flat for office. On 13 December the vice-had of the department on affairs of minors Haroshka and the acting head of Zhodzina police Ilyich came there. They said they received information that the flat was used as office and warned members of Young Front that they would be criminally punished for another attempt to rent a flat for office.
The Orthodox Church, the Armed Forces and the state media received a confidence vote of more than 50 percent each in a poll conducted by the Independent Institute of Social, Economic and Political Studies (IISEPS) in November.
The Russian government has approved a government loan to Belarus in 2004 of $175-million worth to cover Russia`s natural gas exports to the republic and to balance payments on mutual trade between the two countries.