Leaders of civil initiative “Freedom to political prisoners!”, members of Council of civil initiatives “Free Belarus” Ihar and Pavel Marinich are in Brussels on invitation of Members of European Parliament. During the visit sons of one of the leading politicians of Belarus who had been sentenced to five years of prison met member of EU delegation on Belarus, with vice Chairman of Committee of foreign affairs Hendrik Ilves, representatives of Human Rights Unit Geoff Harris and Ursula Bausch, representative of Council of the EU Pirkka Tapiola. Ihar and Pavel Marinich informed MEP’s about recent details in cases of their father and other political prisoner as well as about activity of Council of civil initiatives “Free Belarus”. Sons of political prisoner also conveyed gratitude of Mihail Marinich for solidarity and support. As we informed earlier Members of European Parliament sent dozens of letters with demand to halt criminal prosecution of oppositional politician.
Prosecution of Chernigov region (Ukraine) brought law suit on fact of arrest of four activists of Belarusian opposition after the second tour of presidential elections on Ukrainian border. According to prosecutor of Repky district of Chernigov region Sergey Kopeykin criminal case was brought on February 9. Several officers of law-enforcing bodies have already been interrogated. Other investigational actions have been carried out.
President of the European Parliament Josep BORELL sent letter to Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, permanent representative of Belarus in European community and in NATO Vladimir Senko in which he expressed concern at the imprisonment of one of leaders of Belarusian opposition Mikhail Marinich. “The European Parliament strongly condemns, the persecution of citizens for reason of their political beliefs”, -- says the letter. See the full text of the letter.
The Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BCDTU) has applied to the Minsk city authorities for permission to stage a rally in the Belarusian capital against last year’s controversial dismissals of several prominent independent unionists, a source with the BCDTU told BelaPAN.
Wife of political prisoner Valery Levaneusky Marina Levaneuskaya wrote complaint to chairman of department of imposing penalties and to prosecutor of Mahiliou region. Mrs. Levaneuskaya complains on illegal actions of Colony 19 where her husband is serving his sentence.
Ambassador of Belarus in Latvia Vadim Lamkov was recalled for position in Belarusian Foreign ministry, Latvian newspaper “Vesti Segodnya” informs. The first not official information about recall of Lamkov appeared about month ago. But neither Belarusian embassy of Latvian Foreign ministry confirmed it. Media informed that Belarusian authorities are not satisfied with Lamkov’s work in position of Ambasador in Latvia. There is no information about candidature of new Belarusian Ambassador in Latvia for the moment.
“Zubr” movement carried out an action of solidarity with Belarusian political prisoners on February 14 in Barysau. Posters with slogan “Freedom to Marinich!” were distributed in in the town. Also “Zubr” activists were handing out newspaper “Free newspaper” in animated places of the town. The newspaper is dedicated to politicians imprisoned for their political views. Simultaneously “Zubr” activists were collecting signatures under demand to release opposition politicians.
Trial against ex-MP of Supreme Sovet Siarhey Antonchyk continues. This administrative case does not have analogues in legal practice. Siarhey Antonchyk and several more people were detained by police in private flat. Now ex-MP and author of report about corruption abong high-ranked officials is accused of organizing illegal meeting.
Pro-democracy youths delivered a Valentine Day message of love for European values to the Minsk-based diplomatic missions of ten countries on Monday. The youths visited the embassies of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the UK, Ukraine, the United States and the Minsk office of the Swedish embassy, Sergei Lisichyonok, a participant, told BelaPAN.
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus found legal the warning of the Ministry of Justice to the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies (IISEPS). Judge Valiantsina Kulik ruled to leave the warning in force. The judge referred to article 25 of the Law about public associations and stated that all documents and materials related to the statute activity of public associations must be presented to the Ministry of Justice. As far as sociologic polls are a kind of the IISEPS statute activity, all materials of the polls including filled questionnaires had to be saved and presented to the registering state bodies if required. That’s how the court puts the anonymity of sociologic polls in danger. The judge also explained that the ministry had the right to check the information which was commercial secret (for instance, if the institute conducted marketing polls).
Minsk Pershamayski Borough Court decided that in “Panorama” program Belarusian State TV and Radio Company and the journalist Mikalay Melyanichenka distributed false information about the activity of the public association “Will for Development” the its head Mikhail Varanets. On 14 February the court considered the suit of “Will for Development” on protection of its business reputation and of Mikhail Varanets on protection of his dignity.
In the evening of 11 February the vice-head f the National public association “Perspective”, entrepreneur Anatol Zmitrovich was detained in the city of Svetlahorsk. Three policemen in plain clothes confiscated from him 75 Xerox copies of the first page of Narodnaya Volia newspaper with an article about the meeting in Minsk and the strikes of entrepreneurs in the regions of Belarus. The vice-head of Svetlahorsk police Mr. Zykun took part in drawing of the police report against the detainee.
Aleksandr Lukashenko, by his Monday’s presidential edict, appointed his former aide Valery Tsepkalo as his representative to the Belarusian National Assembly. The Belarusian leader introduced the post by another edict three days earlier.
Igor and Pavel Marinich the sons of jailed prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich flew into Brussels this morning Monday 14 February for meetings with Members of the European Parliament. "We want to remind the West that human rights in Belarus are being trampled daily. The EU must adopt a coherent action plan to deal with this heart of darkness that blots the political landscape on Europe`s frontier," they said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko, by his Monday’s presidential edict, dismissed Yevgeny Dvernitsky, deputy interior minister in charge of public security and special police, and Viktor Kirichuk, first deputy commander of the ministry’s Internal Troops.