Taking in consideration that numerous supporters of the democratic movement in Belarus are set to congratulate Alyaksandr Milinkevich with his registration as a candidate for presidency on the day of registration, the HQ of the single candidate has decided to organize the first meeting with voters right after the session of the Central Election Commission. The session is to start at the twelve noon on February 17 in the Palace of Republic.
A political prisoner, the leader of the National Strike Committee of Vendors, Valery Levaneuski, has received a chance to meet his family for the first time in recent months. Today in Ivatsevichy colony number 22 Valery was visited by his wife and two sons.
Today another house search has been carried out. Apartment of a democratic activist Zmitser Kukhlej was searched. Like in the case of Ales Zarambiuk, the deputy of Masty district council, the search warrant had been issued by the prosecutor of Vaukavysk district “with a view to initiation of a criminal action for making graffiti in Vaukavysk”.
“Voting for the single democratic candidate under the circumstances would never be transformed into his victory without defence of this victory in the streets and squares of Minsk,” reads the statement of the European coalition, adopted an another session of the Coordinating committee of the coalition, which among others consists of four organizations, members of the Political Council of the United Democratic Forces. Participants of the meeting have analyzed results of the first stage of elections campaign of the single democratic candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich. Organizations-members of the European Coalition have taken part in the election campaign. They have reached a conclusion that not elections, but another “farce” will take place on March 19 in Belarus. The European coalition proposes the Political Council of the Democratic Forces to adopt a resolution about a meeting with voters on March 19 at 8 p.m. in the centre of Minsk.
On February 14, before the Day of Solidarity, the civil initiative “We Remember” has received a letter of support from organizations engaged in problems of forcible abductions in Argentina, Sri Lanka, Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Representatives of these organizations have got acquainted with the Belarusian problem of forcible abductions at a conference “International Models of Transitional Justice” in Sarajevo.
A third-year student of philology department Yauhen Skrabutan has been expelled from Yanka Kupala Hrodna University. On February 13 the court of Masty sentenced him to a fine of 290,000 BYR for keeping 5,000 calendars with a picture of the democratic forces leader Alyaksandr Milinkevich and words “I love Belarus”. The student was a member of the initiative group of Milinkevich. He was detained at railway station in Masty on January 12, the Radio Svaboda informs.
Today a house search has been carried out in the apartment of the deputy of Masty (Hrodna region) Ales Zarambiuk. The search warrant had been issued by the prosecutor of Vaukavysk district “with a view to initiation of a criminal action for making graffiti in Vaukavysk”.
On February 14 young activists of Zubr resistance movement Yauhen Suvorau and Krystsina Shatsikava were detained in Mahilyou. The young people were detained during an attempt to put up a poster with an appeal to take part in the Day of Solidarity on February 16. Activists of the resistance movement were taken to the police department of Lenin district of Mahilyou, where Yauhen Suvorau was baselessly accused of violation of the article 156 of the Administrative Code of Belarus (petty hooliganism). Suvorau spent a night in Mahilyou isolation detention facility. He is to stand trial today. It is possible that the oppositionist will be sentenced to an arrest, like Zubr activist Yauhen Afnagel.
As Radio Svaboda reports, a group of German Deputies of the Landtag of Federal land Mecklenburg-Vorpommern protested against the recent visit to Belarus by Minister of Agriculture, Social-Democratic Party member Till Backhaus.
The election commissions are formed now and, according to the Central Election Committee, the district commissions total 74 107 people. Only one oppositional politician was short-listed - a United Civil Party representative.
In the evening of February 14, police officers burst violently into the private apartment in Komsomolskaya Street of Baranavichy, where 7 friends of united democratic forces leader Aliaxandar Milinkevich’s spearhead group gathered.
Latvian organizations have joined an international campaign to support the opposition movement in its neighbor Belarus, the great holdout of the communist era which many human rights organizations have labeled Europe’s last dictatorship.
The trial of Nikolai Avtukhovich, who is facing controversial tax evasion charges, has been postponed until the businessman is found. A judge of the Oktyabrsky District Court in Grodno announced this on Tuesday.
The first 50 observers representing the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) have been accredited with the central election commission on Tuesday to monitor the country`s presidential race.
The action of solidarity with repressed activists of the youth movement “Zubr” has taken place on February 14 in front of the Belarusian Embassy in Warsaw. Dozens of people have come to the building with Belarusian national white-red-white flags, candles and portraits of Zubr coordinator Yauhen Afnagel, sentenced to 15 days of arrest. Former mayor of Warsaw Marcin Swiecicki took part in the protest. On the Day of Belarusian Solidarity on February 16 rallies dedicated to Belarusian freedom fighters are to take place in many towns of Poland.