On Friday, 16 Dec. 2005 at least 60 activists of "Zubr" movement go in the streets of Borisov city with alight candles in the hands. It`s another time when Borisov citizens not only put out candles in own houses, but also go in the streets to express their solidarity. The Solidarity Days have been holded in Belarus several times during last months.
On December 16 in Kyiv an action of solidarity with Belarus was held. It was organized by independent civil activists. In this action, unlike the one held before, several civil activists like Amnesty International, the Ukrainian Helsinki Committee on Human Rights and Alliance Maidan took place.
On December 16, on the Day of Belarusian Solidarity with the victims of Lukasheka’s regime, an internet-site the Third Way (www.3dway.org) continued the idea of solidarity in the Internet. On this day from 7.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. the candles of solidarity were lit at many Belarusian, Russian, Ukrainian and Polish sites. “Solidarity of By-net” was supported by the site of Alyakandr Milinkevich (http://by.milinkevich.org), the United Civil Party (http://www.ucpb.org), a source of an independent informational and analytical internet-project “Our Opinion” (http://nmnby.org), the Belarusian Partisan (http://www.belaruspartizan.org), the civil initiative “Chas!” (http://www.svaboda2006.org), the Agency of Financial News (www.afn.by), an internet-source of the movement of V. Matskevich (http://worvik.com), and internet source of the Third Way community (www.3dway.org) and its partners.
On December 16 the Union of Belarusians in Sweden held an action in the center of Stockholm, dedicated to the Day of Solidarity. 15 Belarusians gathered in the center of Stockholm. In their hands they held candles, flags, slogans “Freedom to political prisoners!”, “16- Day of Our Solidarity”. Swedish politicians and well-known journalists were present at the rally as well.
In Vilnia the Day of Solidarity with the families of the disappeared politicians, with political prisoners, their families, and independent journalists, with all who fight for freedom and democracy in Belarus, was organized for the second time, and is called a Day of Belarusian-Lithuanian Solidarity.
The leadership of the human rights organization “Swedish Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights” has decided to participate in the Day of Belarusian Solidarity on the 16th day of every month. “In this way we want to express our support to democratization of Belarus. It means that in our windows in Sweden candles for Belarus will be burning too. We are with you!” told the chairman of the Swedish Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights www.ostgruppen.se Sofia Uggla.
The solidarity action was held in Kingston University of London. At 6 p.m. (8 p.m. Minsk time) in many windows of students’ hostels candles of Solidarity with Belarus were lit. A coordinator of the Youth European Parliament Dr. Alan Flowers, deported from Belarus last year, took part in the action as well. Participants of the action sang a Belarusian hymn “Mighty God” in English (in translation of Dr. Flowers).
The Parliament in Belarus voted Friday to hold the country`s next presidential election in March, opening an accelerated campaign between its authoritarian leader, Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, and a beleaguered opposition movement. The election will be a watershed for Belarus, which Mr. Lukashenko has led since 1994 with an increasingly repressive hand. He has revived symbols and policies of the country`s Soviet past, eroded personal and political freedoms and stifled all forms of dissent.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in his Sochi residence of Bocharov Ruchey yesterday. The meeting was held shortly before the start of the presidential election campaign in Belarus, and Putin tried to satisfy Lukashenko’s interest in him, according to Kommersant special correspondent Andrey Kolesnikov.
Belarus set March 19 as the date for presidential elections yesterday, ushering in three tense months of renewed political oppression to prevent any protest-led revolution in the authoritarian republic.
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation joins Belarusian human rights centre Viasna, in expressing their concern that recent amendments to the Belarusian criminal code will further endanger civil society’s freedoms of association, expression and assembly.
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), expresses its deepest concern at the signature by President A. Lukashenko of amendments to the Belarusian Criminal Code, which strengthen penal responsibility concerning “acts against people and public security”.