The Minsk executive committee stopped registration of letters concerning meetings, street actions, demonstrations, pickets and other mass actions. By the decision of the city authorities number 809, several other types of documents sent to the executive committee would not need registration.
“Georgia will very actively support democracy in Belarus,” Georgy Baramidze, the Georgian state minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, said on May 24 at the Security Forum of the NATO Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) in Are, Sweden.
Belarus’ relations with NATO will not change much until that country carries out democratic reform, the alliance’s secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, said on May 25 at a news conference in Are, Sweden.
Belarus’ Ministry of Justice has turned down a request by the Union of the Belarusian Poles (UBP) to recognize its March 12-13 convention that resulted in the election of new UBP leaders, UBP spokesman Andrzej Pisalnik told BelaPAN.
NATO is unlikely to expand its assistance to Belarus because the Belarusian regime is undemocratic, Nicholas Burns, US under secretary of state for political affairs, said at a news conference in Are, Sweden, on May 25.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili believes that the “Rose revolution” in Georgia is the example for Freedom fighters in Belarus. “Our “Rose revolution” has inspired patriots of Ukraine and resulted in the revolution in this country. It has inspired the Near East, Central Asia and Kyrgyzstan. Freedom fighters in Belarus are guided by our example as well,” told Saakashvili in his address to the military forces at the military parade on Independence Day.
On May 23 a trial over the Belarusian oppositionists Paval Sevyarynets and Mikola Statkevich started in the court of Tsentralny district of Minsk. They are charged with organizing protest actions against rigged results of the parliamentary elections and referendum in autumn -2004. The Ukrainian youth civil association “National Alliance” demands the government of Belarus to stop persecution of Belarusian oppositionists immediately.
The court of the Tsentralny district of Minsk denied request of one of the leaders of the “Young Front” Paval Sevyarynets, who asked to call former chairman of the KGB (State Security Committee) Leanid Yeryn, the head of the Central Election Committee Lydziya Yarmoshyna and the Interior Minister Uladzimir Navumau as witnesses in his case. The criminal case brought up against Paval Sevyarynets and the leader of Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Narodnaya Hramada), coordinator of the European coalition Mikola Statkevich is to be tried in the court of Tsentralny district of Minsk on May 23. Oppositionists are accused of organizing mass protest actions against rigged elections and referendum in fall -2004.
The Human rights organization “Amnesty International” has published the annual report on the situation wit human rights in the world. In the part dedicated to Belarus it is underlined that there is no progress in investigation of the four cases of abductions, the capital punishments are continued, violation of the freedom of speech and the right for assembly is continued, arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of opposition activists by police are observed, the pressure on non-state organizations and independent media, and their liquidation continue”.
The Kremlin has given the go-ahead to a unified Russia and Belarus, a political project stuck in controversy for the last decade, the Russian weekly Politichesky Zhurnal reported. Below are Russian analysts` comments on the prospects of unification.
Dramatic changes are sweeping across the area that was once the Soviet Union. It is clear that, after the revolutionary changes in Tbilisi, Kiev and Bishkek, the old status quo is gone forever. Kleptocratic ways of governing are obsolete, autocratic rulers cannot ignore popular moods and people are uniting to demand freedom.
The trial over the chairman of the Belarusian Social Democrat Party (Narodnaya Hramada), a coordinator of the European Coalition “Free Belarus” Mikola Statkevich and one of the leaders of the “young Front” Paval Sevyarynets continues. They are charged with organizing demonstrations against rigged results of the parliamentary elections and referendum on October 18 and 19, 2004. Mikola Statkevich is guarded to the court, as the judge of the Tsentralny district of Minsk Leanid Yasinovich punished him by a 10-day arrest for contempt of a court. Mikola Statkevich declared a hunger strike of protest against the humiliating conditions of imprisonment.