Two activists of the Zubr resistance movement were punished for participation in the rally on the anniversary of the former Interior Minister of Belarus, Yury Zakharanka. The protesters gathered in front of the Mahilyou KGB (State Security Committee) building. Policemen disbanded the protesters and detained 12 of them. The reports of administrative violations have been drawn up against the detained.
On May 24 a picket in support of political prisoner Andrei Klimov was staged in front of the Belarusian Embassy in Prague by Ukrainian and Belarusian students. About two dozens of people have taken part in the rally. The participants were holding portraits of Andrei Klimov and a banner “Freedom to Andrei Klimov!” and “STOP LUKA!”.
Activists of the “Young Front” organization from Zhodzina (Smalyavichy region, Minsk oblast) declared a hunger strike of protest on May 25. They demand to reinstate them in educational institutions and to stop pressure from the side of administration of their educational institutions.
Opposition politician Pavel Severinets, who is standing trial together with another opposition leader, Nikolai Statkevich, on charges of organizing an unauthorized protest, described the prosecution case as weak. He told BelaPAN on Wednesday that the position of the state prosecution had been becoming weaker and weaker “before his very eyes.”
Today is the tenth day of the hunger strike of Belarusian oppositionist, former deputy and leader of the group “Respublika”, Syarhei Skrabets detained in the remand prison of Brest. The opposition activist calls his arrest illegal and says he is prosecuted for political reasons.
The leader of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Narodnaya Hramada), coordinator of the European coalition Mikola Statkevich was placed in one cell with a person suffering from dysentery. Besides, yesterday the politician was left without food for the whole day. Mikola Statkevich has told about that today during the court session in the action brought up against him and one of the “Young Front” leaders Paval Sevyarynets for organizing a protest against rigged results of the parliamentary vote and referendum in autumn 2004.
“Collapse of the regime in Belarus is an objective inevitability. It won’t be possible to keep the regime whether Lukashenka would remain in power or not. We are situated in the center of Europe, among the countries that are following the democratic course and would increase pressure,” told the well-known Belarusian politician and economist Stanislau Bahdankevich, answering the questions of the “Nezavisimaya Gazeta”.
Poland has pledged to scrap its plans for visa sanctions against several Belarusian officials and former leaders of the Union of Belarusian Poles (UBP) if the Belarusian authorities recognize the UBP’s March 12-13 convention as legitimate.
The first day of the new rules for citizens of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to cross Russian borders started with scandals. Leaders of the Eurasian Economic Community approved the new border rules on March 24th. In spite of the fact that the authorities of the above-mentioned republics had two months to prepare for the passport-entry regime, Russian border guards and former USSR citizens had to deal with numerous problems. People are still trying to cross the Russian border with their republican passports only, although now they are supposed to have the so-called foreign passport, if they wish to leave the territories of their native states and move to Russia.
Russia`s Procurator`s Office sent a letter to Zinaida Hanchar, the wife of the politician Viktar Hanchar who disappeared six years ago. The letter says that if there is a need for legal assistance on the territory of another country, the Procurator`s office of Minsk may make a corresponding appeal.
The Swedish foreign ministry is disappointed at the Belarusian authorities’ move to deny visas to representatives of Forum Syd, an official with the ministry’s Department for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, told BelaPAN.
The Committee on Liaison with Poles Abroad of Poland’s Sejm (lower parliamentary chamber) is expected to propose a resolution that would call on the Belarusian authorities to “unconditionally recognize” the newly elected leaders of the Union of Belarusian Poles (UBP), Poland’s PAP reported.
"They cover Poland quite extensively in Belarus, though mostly in a negative context. Why this is so is a question the Belarusian propaganda has to be asked. I do not understand at all why this has anything to do with me. While I have spent five years working in Belarus, I have never violated the Belarusian legislation, have never violated the status of a diplomat and have not given any grounds for being treated so brutally", says Marek Butska, the first secretary of the Polish Embassy in Minsk, who was declared a persona non grate in Belarus, in an interview to Radio Polonia. The interview was recorded in Warsaw, because Butska is now on leave in Poland.
Protest marches against renaming of streets and avenues took place in the center of Minsk yesterday. During one of them eight people were seized and beaten up. Police had not permitted to carry out the protest with a demand to return name of first book printer Frantsysk Skaryna in the main street of Minsk.