The Committee to Protect Journalists (New York) made an announcement in which it expressed anxiety about the bill that is able to "make any criticism of Aliaksandar Lukashenka a reason for imprisonment for a 5 years` term". The bill is entitled "On making amendments and changes in some acts of legislation concerning the toughening of amenability for actions against people and their security ".
Prominent Belarusian intellectuals, at a meeting in Minsk on Friday, expressed support for the campaign efforts of Aleksandr Milinkevich, united opposition forces` presidential contender, but voiced doubt that he would be registered as a candidate.
The Belarusian opposition`s presidential contender, Aleksandr Milinkevich, on Thursday visited the town of Vasilevichi, the birthplace of former Interior Minister Yury Zakharenko who disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 1999.
Founder of Union of Belarusian Poles Tadeush Gavin expressed support to Day of Solidarity on December 16. “I will light candle on December 16. I knew the disappeared politicians. And I had very good relations with all of them. To be with them, to light a candle is my duty. We need solidarity to look at each other and to realize that there are many of those who want to live in free country indeed”, -- said Tadeush Gavin.
Aliaksandr Lukashenka will sign law about changes in Criminal code on December 12. On December 20 - Day of KGB officer the law will be put in power. After the bill was adopted by “parliament” chairman of KGB Stiapan Suharenka commented it: “Some changes were made for the definite persons. You’ll learn it soon. Wait for the first criminal cases on December 20 already. KGB has evidences. 2-3 thousand young people got under influence of our enemies who try to destabilize situation in Belarus…” Suharenka promised that the law will not have retroactive effect. He did not say what processes they are planning to start.
ARTICLE 19, the Global Campaign for Free Expression, is extremely concerned at news that both houses of the Belarusian National Assembly have approved draconian amendments to the criminal code. The amendments will further undermine freedom of expression, already under attack in Belarus.
"At no point in history have people been freer," says State Department official. As the struggle for human rights continues around the world, important advances have been made, Adam Ereli, a U.S. State Department spokesman, said December 9. On the eve of Human Rights Day, Ereli applauded efforts in Iraq, where a new constitution guarantees the rights of all citizens, and in Liberia, where recently held elections resulted in Africa’s first democratically chosen female president. Human Rights Day is celebrated around the world on December 10. “Sadly, the struggle for human rights continues in many parts of the globe,” Ereli said. “Rape and murder continue in Darfur. From Cuba to China, Belarus to Burma, Uzbekistan to Zimbabwe, and Iran to North Korea, courageous human rights activists remain harassed and imprisoned.”
The deputy head of the Belarus KGB claims that NATO, Lithuania and Georgia prepare terrorists-militants to attack Belarus. Viktor Vegera has declared, that on the bases of NATO in Lithuania young Belarus oppositionists are being trained to shoot, RIAN informed.
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), and Viasna, a Belarusian human rights NGO, express their deepest concern about the adoption in second and final reading, on December 8, 2005, of amendments to the Belarusian Criminal Code by the Upper Chamber of Parliament, which strengthen penal responsibility concerning “acts against people and public security”.
We should remind that on 17 and 21 November Minsk City Economic Court rejected the suits of Narodnaia Volia to the state enterprises Minablsaiuzdruk, Belsaiuzdruk and Minskharsaiuzdruk who had broken the distribution agreements since 1 October 2005. However, the Court of Appeal rejected the cassation complaint and left in force the decision of Minsk City Economic Court.
Forum 18 reports that the Charismatic New Life Church in Belarus has lost the bid to keep their property. The 2002 Religion Law bans unregistered religious activity. Despite repeated violation warnings, New Life has been ministering from a disused cowshed since September 2004. However, the decision to uphold the judgement may not be as religious as it is political. The catch is in the administration.
Belarusian border guards refused entry Sunday to an aide to the Polish prime minister, Polish officials said, in the latest diplomatic incident between the two uneasy neighbors. Michal Dworczyk, who advises Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz on the situation of ethnic Poles abroad, said that he was turned away at the Kuznica Bialastocka border crossing about 200 kilometers northeast of Warsaw.