The comments on today’s verdict to the political prisoner, former 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, Mikhail Marynich, were given forthwith to the Charter’97 press center by international coordinator of the Charter’97 Andrei Sannikov, Charter’97 coordinator Zmitser Bandarenka, the head of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka, one of the Zubr coordinators Uladzimir Kobets, journalist and playwright Nikolai Khalezin. Mikhail Marynich has been sentenced to 5 years if imprisonment in maximum-security correctional labor facility on absolutely cooked-up and not proved charges. The sentence was passed by Judge Liudmila Dolzhenko (Liudmila Dalzhenka).
Youth movement “Zubr” have been actively supporting Mihail Marinich during all six days of trial. “Zubr” activists had been on vigil every day. In any weather several dozens of people stayed at court. Graffity “Freedom to Marinich” and portraits of the political prisoner appear near court and in the other district of Minsk every night. Portraits of Mihail Marinich also appeared on walls of court. Two protest actions have been carried out in two last days of the trial. “Zubr” activists were lining up in front of court. They all were dressed in sweaters with portrait of political prisoners. Than they were putting their hands on their heads and were walking around the building. After the verdict people staying at the court started to shout “Shame!”
On the day when the sentence is to be pronounced to one of the leaders of Belarusan opposition, Mikhail Marynich, activists of the Zubr movement are continuing their vigil in front of the building of the court. Today, after the politician has made his final statement, the activists carried out a solidarity action with the political prisoner. Several dozens of Zubr members wearing pullovers with the portrait of the political prisoner and words “Free Marynich!” were walking around the building of the court their hands on the nape.
Belarusian political prisoner, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Belarus, ex-Minister of Foreign Economic Relations Mikhail Marynich has made his final statement in the legal trial. “This trial is a persecution for democratic views, for active work in civil society, for vision of the European way of development for Belarus, for running in presidential elections as a candidate,” told Mikhail Marynich. The political prisoner was reading the final statement for about an hour. After that it was announced that the sentence is to be pronounced at 4 p.m. Minks time.
An activist of Mahilyou branch of the Zubr movement Pavel Ugrinovich has been fired from work for support of Mikhail Marynich, the Zubr press service informs. On Tuesday Ugrinovich was summoned by the director of the unitary enterprise “Maholyou house building factory” Mr. Zubarau, where Ugrinovich worked as a welding operator. The director told him that his is dismissed. Zubarau was not concealing that the reason of the sack were political activities of the young man.
A trial of political prisoner Mikhail Marynich has started several days ago in Minsk. After each session of the court the innocence of the defendant gets more and more evident. No one from the participants of the process have any grievances against him. None of the accusations is substantiated convincingly. The former Minister of Foreign Economic relations, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Belarus Mikhail Marynich considers this trial to be exclusively political and cynical. Dozens of MPs of the European parliament and of European countries, prominent public figures and politicians of many countries have expressed their solidarity with the political prisoner. Dozens of people stand by the building of the court every day. They come to support the Belarusian political prisoner. We propose you, dear viewers of out site, to write a letter of support to Mikhail Marynich and to send it to an email email@example.com. All you messages will be given to Mikhail Marynich on the eve of the New Year holiday.
About 30 representatives of various non-governmental organizations gathered at the Belarusian Embassy in Riga today to protest against the lack of rule of law in Belarus. The rally was organized in connection with the trial of Belarusian opposition figure Mikhail Marinich in Belarus. The indictment will be read out today, it is possible that the prosecutor will demand a six-year prison sentence for Marinich.
Belarusian observers who monitored the December 26 repeat runoff in Ukraine’s presidential election insisted at Wednesday`s news conference in Minsk that the voting process had been conducted according to democratic standards.
Belarus has extended the mandate of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe office for 2005, Nationwide TV reported today, quoting the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. Belarus hopes for further fruitful cooperation with this organization, the channel said.
Belarus` education officials suggested increasing the efficiency of teaching state ideology at the country`s higher educational institutions. The issue was discussed at a meeting held by the board of the Ministry of Education last week.
Belarus has managed to prevent negative economic consequences the European Union`s enlargement, Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov said while informing Aleksandr Lukashenko about the results of the expiring year regarding the country`s foreign policy and external trade.
Belarusian political prisoner, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus, ex-Minister of Foreign Economic Relations Mikhail Marynich at twelve noon Minsk time started his speech at the court trial. The trial of Mikhail Marynich started last week after a seven-months long investigation and imprisonment of Mikhail Marynich. During the process, according to attorneys, family members of the accused, journalists and observers, complete innocence of person on trial, and absurdity of the charges against him have become apparent. It is supposed that the last statement would be read by the defendant for about an hour, and after that the court would either pronounce its sentence or would recess for deliberation.
As the Charter’97 has found out, the main thesis of the final statement of Marynich would be that the criminal case had been trumped-up against a public figure that saw our country as a parliamentary republic of a European type, with market economy and developed business. The principle of Stalin was realized: “Give us a man, and the case would be found”. The authorities did not want a dialogue, instead of that they ruined the organization “Business Initiative”, and ordered this criminal case. Follow our updates.
Belarus may face a pension crisis in 2007, said Belarusian Labor Minister Antonina Morova, according to official information sources. The country has an ageing population, which means that in the not too distant future there will be too few workers to pay the pensions of older people, she said.
At the Polish-Belarusian border Belarusian customs officers are confiscating the foodstuffs and presents weighing over 5 kilograms. Because of that queues form at some border crossings. Hundreds of Belarusians are derived of possibility to bring a jar of conserved maize corn or several kilograms of ham.
Vasily Yurevich, of the charismatic New Life Church, was on 28 December fined 150 times the minimum monthly wage for organising an "illegal" service, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. Pastor Vyacheslav Goncharenko – who faces punishment on the same charges – told Forum 18 that this "is a colossal amount of money." Two weeks earlier the church`s re-registration application was rejected, rendering – against international law - all its public activity illegal and subject to punishment. Some religious leaders have been fined in Belarus this year, but the fines have generally been much smaller. Pastor Goncharenko told Forum 18 that "we`re ready for everything. We will stand up for our rights to worship God. This is all we want to do, and God will defend us." Nina Gordeyuk, deputy head of the local district administration, vehemently denied to Forum 18 that the authorities are waging a campaign against the church.
Starting January 1, 2005, drivers having their driving licenses suspended for drunk driving will be required to take tests in the State Road Police Inspectorate in both driving theory and practice following a medical examination by a narcologist, according to a new directive by the Belarusian interior ministry.
Some 850 foreigners who worked in Israel as prostitutes were deported in 2004, police said. Ha`aretz said Police Superintendent Ra`anan Caspi told a Knesset committee the women were sent to their native countries such as Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Belarus and Russia.