Belarus could suspend work of its Embassy in Ukraine because of protest actions, the radio station “Echo Moskvy” informs. Since April 27 Ukrainian young pro-democracy activists picket the Belarusian Embassy and demand to release five citizens of the country detained in Minks for taking part in protest rally on April 26. The Belarusian Embassy in Kyiv handed in a note of protest to Ukrainian FM.
On World Press Freedom Day, the United States Helsinki Commission reiterated its strong belief that a free press is essential to building democracy and to assuring the protection of other basic human rights.
The Prosecutor’s Office of Belarus studies the possibility to bring to account the Russian newspaper “Moskovskiy Komsomolets”, that published an article “Lukabludie” on April 28, told press secretary of the Prosecutor’s Office Yuri Azaryonak to the BelaPAN.
The head of the Minsk city police department told reporters on May 5 that he saw no grounds for releasing the Ukrainian citizens who were serving jail sentences for their participation in an unauthorized opposition demonstration in Minsk on April 26.
The Belarusian foreign ministry on May 5 confirmed media reports that Aleksandr Lukashenko might meet with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko while staying in Moscow on May 8 to discuss last week`s conviction and jailing in Minsk of five Ukrainian citizens.
Vintsuk Vyachorka, leader of the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF), slammed as “politically motivated” the plans of the city authorities to evict the party from its long-time headquarters in downtown Minsk.
Mother of the journalist Dzmitry Zavadsky, who disappeared without traces in 2000, congratulated his colleagues with professional holidays, the International Day of Freedom of Press (May 3) and Press Day (May 5). Volha Zavadskaya wishes journalists success in their creative work, and health. “Unfortunately, to be a real journalist today means to lay down at stake many things including own life. I wish so much the situation to change. I wish professionalism, success in your work, and health to all of you”.
On May 2-4 in the university of the city of Konstantz (Germany) an informational action timed to the 19th anniversary of Chernobyl disaster took place. For three days Belarusian, Ukrainian, Russian and German students told the lecturers and students of the university about Belarus, its history, culture and current political situation, as well as about Chernobyl accident afthermaths for the population of Belarus.
The chairman of the National Strike Committee of Vendors of Belarus, member of the Council of Civil Initiatives “Free Belarus” Valery Levaneuski for more than a month has been trying to reverse the ruling on imposing punishments on him. The punishments include placing him into the isolation ward, deprivation of meetings with relatives, additional hours on duty, and so on.
Berkeley, California, USA -- A group of 30 students at the University of California, Berkeley, organized a Hike for Democracy to raise money for the Belarusian pro-democracy youth movement, ZUBR. On 30 April 2005, the students, in the organization "Berkeley Students for Global Democracy" (Berkeley SGD), hiked 17 kilometers around Tilden Park, a beautiful protected wild area in the hills above the town of Berkeley in California. The group raised more than US $1000, to be given to ZUBR to support their printing of independent pro-democracy leaflets and newspapers.
The Supreme Court of Belarus is going to consider the appeal of the Ukrainian side to overturn the decision concerning 5 Ukrainians detained in Minsk on April 26 for participation in unsanctioned protest rally “Chernobyl Path”. The Ukrainian Embassy in Minsk has initiated this procedure. At he same time, soon the terms of administrative arrests of Ukrainian citizens are expiring. Today, on May 5, one of the five Ukrainians is to be released, three others are to be released on May 6, and on May 11 the fifth prisoner is to be freed.
The authorities in Minsk have suggested that the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) vacate its headquarters in central Minsk before May 15. In its Wednesday’s letter, the district housing authority explained the decision to terminate the rent contract with the opposition party, which has occupied the office at 8 Varvasheni Street since 1992, by the need to provide the premises to governmental agencies, the BPF press office told BelaPAN.
Viktor Yushchenko intends to discuss the recent conviction and jailing in Minsk of five Ukrainian citizens at a meeting with Aleksandr Lukashenko during May 8 festivities in Moscow on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, Irina Herashchenko, spokeswoman for the Ukrainian president, told BelaPAN.
The Belarusian people have not accepted and will not accept nationalist ideology, said Aleksandr Lukashenko on May 4 following the first showing of a new Belarusian feature film, The Deep Current, according to the Belarusian leader`s press office.
The Supreme Court of Belarus has accepted complaints by five Ukrainian citizens who are serving jail sentences in a Minsk detention center, Leonid Yasinsky, spokesman for the Ukrainian embassy in Belarus, told BelaPAN.
The police in Moscow arrested eight people as activists of the youth wings of the Yabloko party and the Union of Right Forces staged an unauthorized protest near the Belarusian embassy on May 4 to demand the immediate release of the Belarusian and Ukrainian anti-Lukashenko demonstrators held in jail in Minsk.
Today Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus to Ukraine has been invited to Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. A note of the Ukrainian FM has been presented to the Belarusian diplomat; “ForUm” was informed in the press service of the Ukrainian FM.
Ukrainian youth organization “National Alliance” and All-Ukrainian public association “PORA!” have staged a protest in solidarity with their compatriots detained in Belarus on April 26 at the meeting in commemoration of the Chernobyl nuclear power station catastrophe. The rally has taken place in the square by the monument of Ivan Franko.
Ukraine is going to appeal in the Belarusian Supreme Court the ruling of the Minsk city court by which it turned down the request to free from jail five Ukrainians who were detained during a rally in Minsk on April 26.
The meeting of Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko on May 8 in Moscow is not planned yet, informed Ukrainian TV channel ICTV with reference to the Administration of the Belarusian president.
The City Prosecutor`s Office in Baranovichi, Brest region, on May 2 instituted criminal proceedings against a 58-year-old deputy director general of the Baranovichi Cotton Mill and the head of a Minsk-based limited liability company.