Syarhei Kalyakin, the head of HQ of democratic candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich, is summened to the Prosecutor’s Office on Monday, February 13 at 9 a.m. He is to provide explanations concerning his press conference on January 28.
After the campaign “Fed Up With Him!” and “We Want a New One!” started in Salihorsk, members of the Young Front in Salihorsk experienced pressure of Minsk special services, that arrived to the “town of miners” to examine the situation in Salihorsk.
Zubr activists Pavel Minald, Anatoly Aleksandrau, Andrey Khatskevicth and Aliaksandr Tchernuha were detained by police yesterday about 8 p.m. in Barysau for distributing stickers with slogan “We want the new!”. They were taken to Barysau police department. Protocols for violating art. 143 of Administrative code (insanitariness) were written against them. About 11 p.m. they were released.
The Belarusian government’s persecution of the country’s few independent newspapers undermines the integrity of the March 19 presidential election in which Aleksandr Lukashenko seeks a third term, the Committee to Protect Journalists and two regional press freedom organizations said today. The groups called on the Russian Federation, the European Union, and the United States to renounce the vote if Belarusian authorities continue to deny the public access to independent reporting.
A full scale election observation mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, ODIHR, has opened in Minsk, prior to the 19 March presidential election in Belarus. The mission was deployed following an invitation from the Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs on 19 January. The mission is headed by Ambassador Geert-Hinrich Ahrens from Germany.
In Homel policemen of Chyhunachny district police department detained a deputy of the city council Yury Hlushakou. 11,000 leaflets with cartoons of Belarusian TV coverage of situation on Belarus were confiscated.
Lithuanian Ambassador to Belarus Piatras Vaitekunas refutes information contained in the article “Teenagers Trained to Rake Up Fire of “Revolution” published in the newspaper “Zvyazda” on February 7. It was stated in the article that at the territory of Lithuania rebels for Belarusian opposition are trained.
The first session of the court in the case of entrepreneur Mikalay Autukhovich, which was planned for February 9 in the court of Kastrychnitski district of Hrodna, has not taken place because of because of M. Autukhovich’s default of appearance. As his lawyer Halina Ivanova said, the transportation of the entrepreneur, who stayed in Vaukavysk under home arrest, was to be provided by the district internal affairs department. Meanwhile, workers of the firm told to the Deutche Welle, that Autukhovich sent a letter to the Prosecutor General of Belarus and the Prosecutor of Hrodna region. In the letter he denied accusations against him and also informed that he shrugs off obligation to stay under house arrest, as laws are violated in relation to his family.
“Belarusian government adopted a new ruling on the order of deportation of foreign citizens from the country. Its essence is that a list of grounds for deportation is extended. In particular, there are simply amazing norms that deportation could follow if a stay of a foreigner at the Belarusian territory menaces national security of the country, public order defence or health of the citizens of the country”. It is clear that in the run-up to the presidential elections in Belarus a lot of observers would have a status of “almost deported”. However, we, the Union of Right forces, are not intimidated by that. I will come to Belarus myself and will work in the elections as an observer,” told Nikita Belykh, the leader of the Union of Right Forces (SPS) party in a statement on the internet site sps.ru.
On the web page www.3.lishni.org the signatures collection against the 3d term of Aliaxandar Lukashenka was announced. “We launch this site for those who are ready to take the destiny of the country in their hands. Here you can place your articles and ideas, discuss plans and search for adherents. But you should start with signing the appeal. We are not alone, there is nothing to be embarrassed about”, - the site’s creators say.
Sviatlana Zavadskaya, the wife of missed in 2000 operator of the Russian TV channel ORT Dzmitry Zavadski, and the leader of the civil initiative “We Remember”, made a speech in the US Congress. S.Zavadskaya drew the attention of the American decision-makers to the situation in Belarus before the Presidential election. She pointed to the complicated conditions of the election campaign that the democratic opposition is confronted with. “The State power endeavors to hinder the democratic forces activities: the opposition has no access to the state media, independent press is closed down, political and remedial activists are persecuted, the number of political prisoners is growing”, - S.Zavadskaya stated. She remarked that, judging by the present conditions of the election campaign, “the election will hardly be free and democratic”.
One of the topics of negotiations of the US president George Bush and his Polish counterpart Lech Kaczynski on February 9 was the situation in Belarus. “We have discussed problems concerning the NATO, the European Union, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words, to put it shortly, we have discussed all problems which interested the both countries,” told Lech Kaczynski during a common interview to the press, the official internet-source of the White House informs.
Belarusian opposition activist Oksana Novikova`s request for criminal prosecution of a state TV host has been referred to the Committee for State Security (KGB). On January 20, Ms. Novikova asked the Minsk City Prosecutor`s Office to open a criminal inquiry into a show aired by the First National Channel, known as BT, which she said was aimed at promoting war.
The district prosecutor in Svetlogorsk, Gomel region, has brought a disciplinary action against a rank-and-file police officer over the illegal seizure of equipment and print matter from a local opposition activist.
Belarus will hold a presidential election on 19 March, in which incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka is seeking a third consecutive term. Even the most optimistic among the opposition concede it is unlikely the Central Election Commission will announce anything but a landslide victory for the incumbent. Over the years of Lukashenka`s rule, elections in Belarus have steadily evolved into mere exercises in simulated democracy.
The state media in Belarus have been working hard to create an espionage hysteria through antagonizing Belarusian society against Poland and the ethnic Polish community in that country. Belarus, a former Soviet republic squeezed in between Poland, Lithuania and Russia, has what is described as Europe`s only authoritarian regime.
When he was mayor of Warsaw, Lech Kaczynski established his credentials as a Roman Catholic social conservative by banning the city`s minuscule gay rights parade. So it came as no great surprise that as Poland`s newly elected president, Kaczynski`s first foreign visit would be to the Vatican. Perhaps more interesting is that his second trip abroad is to the United States.
Kaczynski met with President Bush in the Oval Office on Thursday, and the two discussed NATO, the European Union and Poland`s neighbors - Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. He arrives in Chicago on Friday for meetings with Polish-American leaders and a working breakfast on Saturday with Mayor Richard Daley.
February 9, entrepreneur of Vaukavysk Mikalai Autukhovich did not arrive in Grodna for the trial, which was to take place in the Oktiabrski district court of the city. The militia officer who was ordered to deliver M.Autukhovich from Vaukavysk did not find the entrepreneur at home where the detained was supposed to stay under home arrest.
This norm is to be added to the new editing of Decree #4 of 01.27.2003 “On single tax for private entrepreneurs and other physical entities and on certain measures for private business regulation”. The amendments are supposed to concern only entrepreneurs working at markets and shopping centers.
Aleksandr Lukashenko, by his February 9 presidential decree, abolished the requirement that an individual should produce his/her passport and the passport number should be recorded when he/she buys foreign cash from a bank’s exchange outlet, said the Belarusian leader’s press office.
The director general of OAO Lidskoye Pivo, the government-controlled brewing company in Lida, Grodno region, lashed out at the government’s malting barley policy, saying that the poor quality of the must-accept Belarusian produced barley and malt prevents the brewer from becoming Heineken’s license partner.