Web page dedicated to Day of solidarity with Belarusian political prisoners, families of kidnapped politicians, independent journalists and with those who is fighting for freedom and democracy in Belarus -- http://solidarity16.org/. Representatives of civil society of Belarus - wife of kidnapped person Anatoly Krasouski, leader of civil initiative Iryna Krasouskaya, well-known Belarusian journalist Iryna Khalip and one of Zubr leaders Mikita Sasim called upon the Belarusians to switch off the light on October 16 at 8 p.m. and to light a candle by their windows in solidarity with the victims of political repressions.
Today at about 3.30 p.m. in Hrodna policemen detained a trade union activist Ivan (Jan) Roman, who was handing out a newspaper “Narodnaya Volya” of October 5 dedicated to the Congress of Democratic Forces, to workers of the Machine Tool Units’ plant.
Alyaksandr Skrabets, a younger brother of the well-known Belarusian oppositional politician arrested on May 15, received a writ about that on October 7. Former deputy and the leader of the group “Respublika”, Syarhei Skrabets, is charged with violation of three articles of Criminal Code – defrauding a state bank of credits, inciting a dweller of Byaroza to give a bribe, and illegal business activities.
On September 29 Belarusian newspapers received similar emails, in which the Belarusian People’s Liberation Army (BPLA) takes responsibility for blasts in Vitsebsk on September 14 and 22. Representatives of force structures started to disavow this statement hastily: “It’s ravings of madmen, who should be cured!” It can be raving, and maybe of mentally ill persons. But it can be realization of a definite plant, and maybe a long-term one.
The Justice Ministry for the third time within the last year and a half refused registration of the Party of Freedom and Progress (PFP). The reasons for refusal were irregularities in the protocols for nomination of delegates for the constitutional convention. Besides, 45 signatures were found not valid, the press-service of the Party of Freedom and Progress informed.
After blasts on October 14 and 22 in Vitsebsk enhanced patrolling in the streets by policemen and Minsk riot police is organized. On October 6 the patrol detained the member of the Conservative Christian Party Belarusian People’s Front Alyaksandr Salauyan and Uladzimer Pleshchanka for the third time within the last 10 days. The activists hand out party bulletins in Lenin street every Thursday and Monday.
On October 6, 2005 a meeting of the editorial staff of "Narodnaja Vola" with UE and US ambassadors took place in Minsk. The reason for the meeting was the statement of the EU concerning the problems of the only independent Belarusian weekly which is now under the threat of being closed.
Minsk Maskouski Borough Court again judges Vasil Iurevich, pastor of the New Life protestant church. He is charged in organization of unauthorized liturgy. The believers are indignant at the actions of the authorities who don’t let then gather and listen to the pastor’s sermons. The church faces liquidation. Two religious communities have been already liquidated. They are: Calvinists (pastor Lieanid Lipien) and Belarusian Evangelic Church (pastor Ernest Sabila).
The European Union expresses its concern for the future of the independent press in Belarus following the harassment of the last remaining independent daily newspaper Narodnaya Volya. The EU condemns the crippling fine imposed on the newspaper and the termination of printing and distribution contracts by the state owned monopoly printers and distributors. The EU regrets that the media space is increasingly controlled by the government and is concerned that this latest development will further limit the access of the Belarusian people to free and objective reporting of events in the country. The EU calls on the Government of Belarus to respect its OSCE commitments on Freedom of Expression, Free Media and Information and to allow the independent media to operate freely. The EU also calls on the Minister of Information to meet with the EU Heads of Mission in Minsk to discuss the situation of the media in Belarus.
Reporters Without Borders called on President Alexander Lukachenko to stop the systematic hounding of the independent press as simultaneous attacks on the country’s two leading independent newspapers, demonstrated the authorities’ resolve to silence critical voices.
Voka youth initiative has a number of social and cultural projects, but is mostly known for its struggle to Belarusify TV and radio broadcasts and telephone communication companies. This year the state TV, radio stations and offices of telephone operators received thousands of letters with demands to use Belarusian language.
The democratic opposition’s single candidate in presidential elections, Alyaksandr Milinkevich addressed the leadership of force structures of Belarus with the appeal not to persecute participants of the Congress of Democratic Forces held last weekend in Minsk. “I hope that there would be no persecution by authorities against the participant of the Congress, including dismissals and expelling from educational institutions, and you would implement law on the whole territory of the country,” Milinkevich said in his letter addressed to the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Belarus V.Sukala, the Chairman of the KGB (State Security Committee) S.Sukharenka, Prosecutor General of Belarus P.Miklashevich and Interior Affairs Minister U.Navumau.
A renowned Belarusian writer and historian Uladizmer Arlou goes all out in support of the Solidarity Day in Belarus on October 16. “On October 16, at 8 p.m. I will switch off the light and light a candle in my window. I call upon my friends, acquaintances and all readers to do the same as a sign of solidarity with those who are alive, and with the departed. Unseen links are to be created by these candles, which are to unite us and make us the ones who would overcome the regime finally,” the writer said.