The obscure wording of the Article “Discrediting of the Republic of Belarus” gives judges wide possibilities for treating it. “What does it mean, discrediting Belarus? Imagine, in official newspapers or opinion polls I found information that crime rate had reached a certain level. If I inform foreign press about that, would it be discrediting or not? It all depends on applying these articles in practice,” told a lawyer, a member of the Political council of the United Civil party of Belarus Mikhail Plisko in his interview to Gazeta.ru
Former chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus Stanislau Shushkevich in his interview to the BBC radio turned attention to the simultaneous adoption of the amendments to the Criminal Code and Law “On Order and Conditions of Persons In Prison”. According to the latter law as amended, a person under investigation, who are to undergo a medicolegal or psychiatric examination, can be sent immediately to colonies and prisons, in case places in a remand prison are deficient.
“Appointed deputies cannot make responsible political decisions. The leash on which “the chamber of representatives” is kept and dragged, makes it possible fort them only to be at feet of those who had appointed them to this position. In this situation I do not see other solutions but to bring up a question in the international community. People who had supported return to the Soviet past, to the “Iron curtain”, and to political repressions for dissent, are worth the pinpoint repressions against them. This could be at least an ban for entering the European countries,” told the leader of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka, commenting on the amendments to the Criminal Code passed by the illegitimate Belarusian parliament.
“The problem is that Belarus follows the way of self-isolation in Europe. It determines the relations of Belarus with the countries of the European Union, and attitude of the country’s leadership to opposition. It determines the stance of Belarus to human rights. We regret that very much. We are not the adherents of isolation policy, but we encounter this very policy of the official Minsk. The Belarusian authorities do not want to go beyond the limits of contacts on the limited range of concrete topics,” said the State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Germany, Gernot Erler (SPD) to “Deutsche Welle”.
The republican unitarian enterprise “Belsajuzdruk” is not going to cooperate with editorial offices of independent newspapers “Salidarnasts” and “Zhoda” in 2006, according to the letters received by the editors of these newspapers on December 2. The letters are signed by the director of the “Belposhta” Mikhail Padhajny. The both documents were dated by November 30 and have almost the same text.
The date of holding another session of the Supreme State Council (SSC) of the “union state” had not been determined yet. The BelaPAN was told about that by the head of the Minsk representation office of the Standing Committee of the union of Belarus and Russia Vasiliy Sholodonov. It was hard to say for him even approximately the time when the session of the highest governing body of the union, whether it will be held before the end of the year or in January. However, V.Sholodonov stated that the work on preparation of the SSC is carried out actively and its agenda hasn’t been changed.
MP of the European Parliament, a member of the Delegation on Belarus, Professor Barbara Kudrycka comments on the amendments to the Criminal Code, adopted by the so-called “chamber of representatives”. “First of all, it’s another blow on freedom of expression. When people who openly express their opinion on situation in Belarus would be imprisoned, it means that the ruler of Belarus wants to gag all the citizens. It’s a manifestation of real, concrete terror. Freedom of expression is one of the fundamental rights of the citizens. In this Belarus violates all possible international conventions,” the MP of the European Parliament told to the Radio Svaboda.
Investigators of Prosecution took explanations of president of Intependent Institute of Social-economic and Political researches Aleh Manayeu. Prosecution carries out investigation about the last interview of Mr. Manayeu and his publications in Belarusian press.
Alyaksandr Milinkevich, an opposition candidate for the presidential elections in Belarus, is urging Lithuania and the international community to support the independent Belarusian press and to help make it possible for Belarusian society to have better access to the Internet.
Former head of the Belarussian Upper Council Stanislav Shushkevich said that if elected, Belarussian opposition candidate Alexander Milinkevich would not conduct an anti- Russian policy. "I think that the proposed option is not anti-Russian. The opposition candidate suits well and one may talk to him on the issue," Shushkevich said in an interview published by the Novaya Gazeta newspaper.
Editorial house of independent newspaper “Brestsky kurier” received official letter signed by chief of Brest department of Belarusian state post service G. Tsitou. It says that agreement about distribution will be cancelled on December 31, 2005. And it will not be prolonged.
The civil forum of the Community for Democratic Choice (CDC) supported the address of the Belarussian opposition to leaders of the Baltic-Black Sea-Caspian region, condemning the dictator regime of Alexander Lukashenko.
On December 2 the so-called “chamber of representatives” at the second reading passed the amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, increasing penalties for “actions aimed against a person and public security”. 97 deputies voted “for” this law, and 4 – “against”. This bill was submitted to the parliament marked “urgent” by Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka on November 23. On November 25 it was passed in the first reading.
The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) and the Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC) are deeply concerned about a new draft law that would damage the work of human rights defenders and other segments of Belarusian civil society.
Over 1200 Hrodna residents signed a letter to the Minister of Information demanding that the broadcasting of the First Channel of the Polish Television TVP-1 be resumed. This is the information provided by Radio Liberty. Today activists of the Union of Poles unrecognized by the authorities send to the Minister of Information Uladzimier Rusakievich a letter requesting that the broadcasting of the First Channel of the Polish Television TVP-1 be resumed, attaching a list of signatures to it.
Regional leadership reduced the financing on the preparation of the city for the celebration to 135 billion rubles. The construction of the therapeutic building of the city hospital included into the festival program is still in question. It is quite possible that the town will have to finish its construction using its own funds.
The Belarusian Justice Ministry advises citizens of the country to withhold critical comments concerning the head of the state against the background of “parliament’s” discussion of the bill introducing criminal liability for discredit of Belarus. This was said at a press conference by the deputy minister of Justice Alyaksandr Petrash. “As a matter of fact, you are not speaking bad of your family, aren’t you?.. That is why you should not speak ill of your republic, even if there is something bad. And a concrete judgement in each specific case is to be done by the court,” the deputy minister said.
The greatest accident in the history of nuclear power occurred on April 26th, 1986, at Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union. A massive explosion released a large inventory of radioactivity to the atmosphere to be carried widely over Europe and deposited as fallout.