“Today the authorities are deliberately killing our father,” told at the press conference in Minsk the sons of the political prisoner Mikhail Marynich, leaders of the Civil Initiative “Freedom to political prisoners!” The sons of the political prisoner insist on immediate release of the former Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Belarus Mikhail Marynich, who had a stroke, and on placing him in one of the hospitals in Minsk for a full medical check-up. Every day at 6 p.m. on October Square protest actions will be held with a demand to release Mikhail Marynich and other political prisoners – the leaders of the strike committee of traders, members of the “Free Belarus” Valery Levaneuski and Alyaksandr Vasilyeu, and of the leader of the republican public association “Perspektyva” Anatol Shumchanka.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based independent, non-profit organization dedicated to defending reporters around the globe, accused the Belarusian authorities of “decimating the independent press” last year.
Syarhey Antusevich, a member of the BPF-Revival Party [opposition Belarusian People`s Front] who runs for parliament in a repeat election in Hrodna, has complained to the election authorities and prosecutors, accusing his government-backed rival of attempting to bribe voters.
On Monday night unknown persons smeared the building of Latvian Embassy in Minsk with orange paint, and scattered leaflets with symbols of the Russian leftist-nationalist National Bolshevik Party around the building. In this connection the Latvian Embassy is going to file a note to the authorities of Belarus with a demand to tighten security of the building.
Popular Russians rockers Tequilajazz urged their fans at a recent show in Moscow to sign an appeal for the release of two leaders of market vendors’ strike committee in Grodno, Russia’s branch of Amnesty International reported.
The leader of the “Young Front” Zmitser Dashkevich and its activist Artur Finkevich were detained in Minsk on February 15. The activists of the “Young Front” were set to carry out a political performance dedicated to the Day of Constitution.
The Perspektiva business association of Belarus’ market vendors announced plans to take steps toward releasing its leader Anatoly Shumchenko who is in a pre-trial detention center facing a hooliganism charge.
The sons of imprisoned politician Mikhail Marinich, Pavel and Igor, appealed again to the prison administration on March 14 for permission to see their reportedly stroke-stricken father and were denied once again. "We were told to arrive four months later," Pavel Marinich said in an interview with BelaPAN. "We know that the dad is in the prison`s medical unit and is alone in the ward, that is why we cannot obtain any information about his condition."
Mikhail Marynich, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus, former minister of external economic relations, deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the 12th Convocation, was sentenced to 3,5 years of jail and is kept in penal colony #8 in Orsha. Human Rights Center Viasna considers the sentence to Mikhail Marynich illegal and politically motivated.
According to the site of Belarusian Association of Journalists, Iulia Darashkevich, correspondent of Nasha Niva (Our Cornfield) newspaper complained to Hrodna Regional Prosecutor’s Office and the head of Hrodna Leninski Borough Board of Internal Affairs. She complained against the action of the riot squad policemen, who detained her during the action of 10 March in Hrodna. The journalist was making photos, when two policemen in helmets and with truncheons in their hands seized her and led to the bus where the arrested businessmen were kept. The journalist wore her badge and immediately informed the police about her professional state. As a result they lead her to the opposite side of the square, away from the action, and threatened to beat her if she approached the businessmen once again.
The Republic of Belarus on Monday voiced support for China`s anti-secession law, saying the legislation is compatible with the interests of all Chinese people and conducive to regional and world peace and stability.
Dmitry Ayatskov, currently governor of the Russian Federation`s Saratov province, may be appointed as ambassador to Belarus, Russia`s RIA Novosti news agency reported with reference to a source with the provincial government.
On March 14 about 40 activists of Zubr movement took part in the action in support of political prisoner Mikhail Marynich. The action took part from 6.00 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. on October Square in Minsk. The participants were holding portraits of the former Minister of Foreign economic Relations, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Belarus Mikhail Marynich, who at the moment is in the medical unit of the Vorsha colony number 8 in grave condition. “We have come here to express support to Marynich, who had a stroke in the colony because he was not allowed to take necessary medicine by the administration of the colony. We also demand release of all political prisoners,” told one of the Zubr coordinators Pavel Yukhnevich. As said by him, the protest is to last the whole week. Its participants are to meet daily at 6 p.m. on October Square and demand the authorities to release Mikhail Marynich.
Officials of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) studied Belarus’ sports and hotel infrastructure on Monday as the Federation prepares to select a country to host the 2010 world championships.