Billboards with words “Free access to information is a right of every Belarusian” and “Probably you know all candidates for presidency in your country” have appeared in Warsaw, and in all the towns in Eastern Poland and on highways leading to the Belarusian border. A silhouette of the single democratic candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich is depicted there. The same billboard was placed by Belarusian Embassy in Warsaw…
In Belarus, an authoritarian, often forgotten corner of Europe, criticising the president can still land you in jail. So it`s no surprise that the forthcoming elections are already rumoured to have been fixed. Nick Paton Walsh reports from the land where the Soviet Union never really went away.
Absolutely cynical trial has been held in Byalynitchy (Mahilyou region) today. Judge Uladzimir Huz sentenced a Zubr coordinator Aleh Myatselitsa to 15 days of arrest on a false charge of petty hooliganism. The trial was held in building of Bialynitchy police department. Visitors, journalists and human right defenders were not admitted to the trial. Besides, Myatselitsa was transported from one place to another for several times. Even his lawyer had not been told about the place of trial. Activists of the resistance movement attribute arrest of their leader to the regime’s desire to isolate Aleh Myatselitsa in the run-up to the presidential elections.
About a thousand of Lida dwellers (Hrodna region) have come to a meeting with the democratic candidate for presidency Alyaksandr Milinkevich. A two-hour event has taken place on March 3 in a local culture center.
Information about opposition leaders and a journalist abducted in Belarus is distributed in the countries of the European Union. In the towns of Europe portraits of Belarusian high-ranking officials and law-enforcers suspected of implication in these crimes by international community are pasted in European countries. On January 26 at the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Christos Pourgourides, a Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe rapporteur on high-profile disappearances in Belarus, author of the report “Disappeared in Belarus” told about his intention to collect all information on disappearances of former Interior Minister Yury Zakharenka, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Viktar Hanchar, entrepreneur Anatol Krasouski and journalist Dzmitry Zavadsky in Belarus.
US Administration official representatives continue to comment on the developments in Belarus in the run-up to the presidential elections. Belarusian problem was mentioned at the press conference of US National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley on March 2 in Deli. “And a prerequisite of a free and fair election is that you don`t beat up opposition candidates or opposition supporters and throw them in jail,” said Stephen Hadley in a statement. “And we think that there is not enough outrage and international attention on Belarus generally, in the run-up to this election, in particular. And the international community ought to be talking about it and sending a firm message and insisting that it be free and fair and doing everything we can to encourage that. And that`s the message, of course, the President wanted to send when he met with these two widows whose husbands were killed by the regime”.
Yesterday evening by the settlement of Dubrouna a special issue of the daily “Narodnaya Volya” was arrested. It was dedicated to the events of March 2, when a candidate for presidency Alyaksandr Kazulin was beaten up, and Alyaksandr Milinkevich, the single democratic candidate, met with voters accompanied by rattle of police truncheons.
On March 3 in the center of Brest policemen of security service department stopped a car with a board “Brest for Milinkevich!” There was a head of Brest Milinkevich campaign HQ Zmitser Shymanski, and a driver Dzianis Turchanyak.
Jeans determine political fashion of spring-2006, told the single democratic candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich at the meeting with voters. “Like the Zubr leader Mikita Sasim, when he was beaten up during a peaceful action on September 16, put up a jeans shirt instead of a flag, I want to put up my blue scarf and say: blue is our colour!” Milinkevich stated. On the next day cars there were cars with jeans and blue ribbons seen in the city. Every day hundreds of new jeans ribbons are seen in Belarus. More and more young people choose jeans as a symbol of freedom. Jeans is seen everywhere: at monuments, trees, lampposts, buses and doors’ handles.