United Civic Party’s activist refuses to answer prosecutor’s questions over election leaflet 14:18, 02/02/2005
Aleksandr Tsynkevich, a member of the United Civic Party (UCP) who ran for parliament in last year’s elections, on Tuesday was summoned to a district prosecutor’s office in Minsk for questioning over an election leaflet that the authorities think defames Belarus’ top officials. It was the leaflet distributed by Mr. Tsynkevich’s camp that prompted the election authorities to remove the candidate from the ballot in Minsk’s number 105 district.
“On February 1, prosecutorial officer Mikhailova requested me to provide explanations about my election campaign,” Mr. Tsynkevich told BelaPAN. “I refused to give any explanations in accordance with the Belarusian constitution’s Article 27 that says, “nobody should be forced to testify against himself, members of his family and close relatives,” the activist stressed.
Mr. Tsynkevich played down the questioning as “a formality.” “The central election commission sent the case to the prosecutor’s office and they have to take some steps. Marina Bogdanovich, an activist of the United Civic Party, and human rights advocate Oleg Volchek have already been summoned [for questioning] over similar accusations. Ms. Bogdanovich received a warning from the prosecutor’s office, while Mr. Volchek’s case will be considered until March. They would have summoned me earlier but I was in Ukraine. The prosecutorial officer told me that I would be summoned again if necessary,” the activist said.