On Tuesday Barysau dwellers who had come to a town skating rink witnessed an unusual scene. Twenty activists of the Zubr movement were skating in jumpers with the number 16 and words Jeans Solidarity on their clothes. They gave people jeans ribbons and explained why more and more young people are attaching these ribbons to their clothes as a symbol of aspiration for freedom.
The Prosecutor’s Office of Belarus has not reacted to the demand of Alyaksandr Kazulin to initiate a criminal action on the information provided by former head of Minsk pre-trial detention center Aleh Alkaeu (Oleg Alkaev) in his book “Firing party”.
More and more graffiti “Fed Up With Him!” and “We Want a New One!” are seen in Belarusian towns and cities with every day. In Zhodzina the slogan “Fed Up With Him!” appeared on the building of the Belarusbank. As said by the onlookers, employees of the bank looked at this slogan sympathetically.
“Lukashenka has nothing to say to people any more. For twelve years he had been promising to solve all problems of the Great Patriotic War participants, veterans of the Armed Forces and military men, but nothing happens. The authorities recall Motherland defenders only on holidays, February 23, May 9 and July 3, in the blare of the trumpets, when sweet talk is heard. But military men and their feat of arms are worthy of being remembered constantly,” told the presidential hopeful, leader of the democratic forces Alyaksandr Milinkevich, answering the questions of journalists, why Lukashenka had refrained from a public address today when he laid flowers to the Victory Obelisk in Minsk.
In his defiant pre-recorded campaign speech broadcast by Belarusian Television on February 22, presidential candidate Aleksandr Kozulin demanded that Aleksandr Lukashenko should not be on the ballot in the forthcoming presidential election.
“There have never been a single authoritarian ruler, who would be poor and had no property. The citizens learn about that, when these rulers are ousted, and a trail of milliards of dollars, property of family members and front parties come into view. It has happened like this with Saddam Hussein in Iraq, for instance,” said the leader of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka, commenting on the information about Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s income to the Charter’97 press center.
The Information Ministry of Belarus is going to suspend issuing of the newspaper “Zhoda” for three months for publishing an article illustrated with cartoons, including ones of Prophet Muhammad. “We are going to suspend issuing newspaper for three month and go to court with a suit about newspaper’s closure,” the Interfax was told by Information Minister Uladzimir Rusakevich.
February 26, a new radio program “Window to Europe” will be launched within the media project for Belarus. According to Radio Svaboda, the program will be transmitted on the radio as well as on the web-site www.belradio.fm.
The Belarusian Central Electoral Committee deems it is too early now to estimate the television statements presented by the candidates. “It is early to give esteems, because the CEC is not the organization that could make rash conclusions”, - CEC Secretary Mikalay Lazovik told Interfax, emphasizing a commission would examine the television and radio statements of the candidates for the Presidential post.
Criminal case is initiated on the publication in the newspaper “Zgoda” of the cartoons of prophet Muhammad. The editorial house of the newspaper was examined and all the equipment and financial documents were withdrawn. Editor-in-chief of the edition Aliaksey Karol and assistant editor Aliaxandar Zdvizhkou were interrogated in the KGB as witnesses on the case.
At 6.00 p.m., February 22, assistant head of Magilou Leninski ROVD lieutenant-colonel of the police Mikhail Chugunou himself handed 26 000 election leaflets of Alyaxandr Milinkevich, withdrawn illegally last night, to head of the democratic candidate’s Regional Headquarters Uladzimer Shantsau. The officer presented apologies from the ROVD administration.
Belarus`s Committee for State Security, better known as the KGB, on 21 February staged a series of raids targeting members of the political opposition. Activists in different parts of the country saw their homes ransacked, with files, leaflets, and computers seized. KGB officers also arrested two prominent opposition members in the capital Minsk. The measures came as Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka ordered law-enforcement agencies to step up security measures ahead of the 19 March presidential election.
Radio Racja, a station based in the eastern city of Bialystok has resumed transmissions in Belarusian targeted at audiences across the border. What are the goals of this broadcaster run by the Belarusian minority in Poland?
The Belarusian authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko has accused through state television the Czech embassy in Minsk of subversive activities, Lidove noviny (LN) writes today. The television asserted on Sunday that embassy employees spread "propaganda material" among extremist groups, LN writes.
Observers from the human rights office of the world`s largest regional security organization display bias ahead of a March 19 presidential election in Belarus, a spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry said Wednesday. Mikhail Kamynin said observers from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had no transparent and comprehensible regulations to follow during the election.
“People do not want to live in lies, they want to have a possibility to choose,” told in his televised address the presidential hopeful, democratic forces leader Alyaksandr Milinkevich on February 22. “If our victory would be stolen from us again, is there would be falsifications at polling stations, I am sure people would take to the streets to defend their dignity. However it would not be the opposition to blame, but the authorities that provoke such actions. If people will come to the streets, on our part we shall do everything to make it a peaceful demonstration, as required by the Constitution,” Alyaksandr Milinkevich said.
Following two warnings last year, Pastor Georgi Vyazovsky of Christ`s Covenant Reformed Baptist Church now faces administrative charges for leading an unregistered congregation after a city official and a police officer arrived at his home during Sunday worship on 5 February, he told Forum 18 News Service from Belarus` capital Minsk. The hearing is due on 3 March. Meanwhile, court officials are demanding that Pastor Ernst Sabilo of the Minsk-based Belarusian Evangelical Church – a veteran of Soviet labour camps for his faith – pay court costs of almost 60 US dollars for the liquidation of his congregation`s legal status last September. Sabilo told court officials that as a pensioner he cannot afford to pay the sum. The two churches are among many religious groups in Belarus unable to gain registration under highly restrictive registration regulations, thus rendering all their activity illegal.
The Ministry of Communications and Informatization in Belarus has introduced licensing for wi-fi networks. Previously, wi-fi network operators had to receive seaprate approval from the Ministry for importing wi-fi equipment and operating within the 2400-2438.5 MHz frequency range.
The first deputy chairman of the Union of Belarusian Writers, novelist Barys Sachanka, told to the human rights center “Viasna”, that a session of the Supreme Court at the suit of Justice Ministry which seeks to liquidate of the oldest non-governmental organization of writers in Belarus, the Republican Civil Association “Union of Belarusian Writers”, is scheduled for March 3.