The US Department of State has decried the police crackdown on an October 29 meeting in Minsk meant to be a founding conference for an independent election observation organization called Partnyorstvo (Partnership).
Belarussian opposition candidate Alexander Milinkevich hopes that the presidential elections in 2006 will be democratic and is threatening mass protest action should they not be. "Should elections fail to correspond with democratic standards, we will call people to the streets in order to defend our right of freedom of choice. Such action would be a peaceful protest," Milinkevich told the Vremya Novostei newspaper on Thursday.
The Union of Jewish Organizations and Communities in Belarus on November 3 handed Abdolhamid Fekri, the Iranian ambassador to Belarus, a letter in connection with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad`s recent anti-Isreali statement.
Last week in Strasbourg, the European Parliament`s delegation for relations with Belarus, headed by Bogdan Klich (EPP-ED, Poland), met the presidents of two parties of the union of democratic forces, bringing together the Belarusian opposition, the United Civic Party (Anatol Lyabedzka) and the Belarusian Popular Front (Vincuk Viacorka). In a declaration published after this meeting, Bogdan Klich stressed it is essential for the European Parliament to play an active role in supporting the democratic forces in Belarus, especially during the period prior to presidential elections, which are scheduled to take place after July 2006, when President Lukashenko`s mandate comes to an end. The opposition, Mr Klich says, also needs maximum media coverage and security guarantees.
The Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BCDTU) has condemned as discriminatory a presidential edict dated October 26 that allowed the pro-government trade union federation to use government-owned premises for various purposes on a gratis basis.
The Polish election saga, which was also closely observed by the politically active citizens in Belarus, is finally over. In general, everything ended in accordance with earlier forecasts, as right-wing forces celebrated their victory. To be more exact, it was one force, the conservative Law and Justice, while the liberal Civic Platform, contrary to sociological predictions, finished the race as the second largest in the parliament and did not get the presidential post.
More than 40 people gathered on Wednesday evening on Torgovaya Street near the Nemiga subway station in Minsk to protest the demolition of a 19th-century building there. The three-story building, owned by the Belarusian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, is expected to be put down in a few days.
The court refused to change the measure of restraint for the businessman from Vaukavysk Mikalay Autukhovich, who is on hunger strike in Hrodna prison for 20 days. The prisoner and his lawyers asked to release him for the time of investigation, by changing the measure of restraint. However the court of Lenin district affirmed the previous court decision.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka is sure of his victory in the imminent presidential elections in 2006, and states that his policy is to stay unchanged. “In case of my being elected I will do what I have been doing for 10 years. I would not ask anybody to vote for me, people would not make a mistake, if they would not be pressed,” A. Lukashenka said, visiting Hlusk district, Mahilyou region. “I haven’t cleaned you out or deceived you. Look, we have got out such a morass in these 10 years. We were left without last trousers after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and those who are eager to take power now, they have squandered everything on drinks then,” the Belarusian ruler noted, speaking with the dwellers of Hlusk.
The meeting of Ukrainian President Viktar Yushchenko with Alyaksandr Lukashenka was rescheduled, as a settlement has been arranged between the Foreign Ministries, the head of the Secretariat of the Ukrainian President, Oleg Rybachuk has stated today.
On November 3 in the Royal Palace in Warsaw the first session of the Council of Europe
Forum on the Future of Democracy created this year, started. A number of well-known politicians, scientists and representatives of civil society from all over Europe, including Belarus, are taking part in the forum. The Belarusian question was discussed during the work of the forum.
The court of Leninski district of Mahilyou refused to sustain a claim of the former worker of Mahilyou metallurgical plant, the head of the trade union organization of the radio electronic industry Yuras Darashenka, who demanded to cancel the order of the administration about his dismissal.
The investigation of the criminal case against the Union of Poles in Belarus’ activists goes on. Today Meczislaw Jaskiewicz was interrogated as a witness in Shchuchyn. M.Jaskiewicz was the head of Hrodna UPB branch in the time of Andzelika Borys.
Human right center "Viasna" published chronicle of Human right violations in Belarus in October 2005. Before the election the authorities started the complex offence on the structures of civil society.
Distributors of Narodnaia Volia newspaper are often detained by the police. Public activists complain against these lawless actions to procurator’s office and ask to conduct check-ups, take measures of procurator’s reaction and punish the guilty policemen.
A picket in defense of house #27 in Handliovaia Street near the cathedral church is dated 19th century. It is the only remaining building on the downhill from Freedom Square to the river of Svislach. At first it was a dwelling house, the balconies of which were decorated with a unique cast-iron breastwork. Then it became a hostel. The famous writer and dissident Alies Adamovich used to live there while student.
The death of Vasil Hrodnikau may be connected with his work on the article "Cheaters-3" - the continuation of a series of publications where such an organization as KGB was mentioned. This idea was pronounced in "Zhoda" in the article "Straight-out death". The previous two articles of the series "Cheaters" were about machinations with flats in Maladzechna. V.Hrodnikau was going to visit this town to collect more information about it.
The government would like the energy ministry to sign the fuel-energy balance for 2005 and by 2020 in November, first deputy prime minister Vladimir Semashko has stated in the course of the branch-wise workshop on increasing the efficiency of energy production.
Cuba considers that the agricultural sphere is one of the most promising guidelines in developing bilateral relations with Belarus. Cuba uses Belarusian agricultural equipment bought in the Soviet Union period. This year, after a many-year break, the sides have signed contracts on Belarusian equipment deliveries.