Activist of the HQ of presidential candidate, former Belarusian State University Rector Alyaksandr Kazulin, entrepreneur Yury Radzivil stays in the remand prison for the 5th day. On March 2 unknown officers of law-enforcing agencies in mufti started shooting at the car of Yury Radzivil by the police department of Kastrychnitski district of Minsk, where Kazulin was kept. Later Yury Radzivil was charged with insubordination to police, and a criminal action was brought up against him. The entrepreneur faces a sentence of up to 6 years in prison. Today witnesses of the incident with Yury Radzivil came to the prosecutor’s office of Maskouski district of Minsk to bear testimony.
A representative of the Belarusian foreign ministry dismissed the Ukrainian foreign minister`s remarks about the coming presidential election in Belarus as rhetoric intended for the domestic audience in the run-up to Ukraine`s parliamentary vote.
Dozens of new graffiti appeared last night in Mahiliou. Signatures “Fed up!” and “We want the new!” were in “Nothern” district of the city. As a sign of solidarity with the arrested “Zubr” activist Yauhen Suvorau graffiti also appeared on walls of pre-trial prison of Mahiliou.
Streaming with slogan “Fed up” was hanged today on bridge in Barysau. Hundreds of Barysau residents can see it. Besides dozens of new graffiti and hundreds of stickers and leaflets with the same slogan appeared in the town last weekend.
Alexander Lukashenko claims to be far ahead in his campaign for reelection this month. And he should be: Mr. Lukashenko, widely known as Europe`s last dictator, has deprived his opposition of funding, media, and the opportunity to demonstrate and organize. He has stacked the election commission with his party hacks to ensure that the vote count can be manipulated. He has passed legislation that makes it a crime to "slander" the president, so that his challengers can`t criticize him without risking imprisonment.
Campaign centres in support of the single democratic candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich are found in almost all cities of Brest region. There five such centres in Brest. In such cities as Pinks, Baranavichy, Kobryn there are two-three of them. In towns with smaller population 15-20 members’ strong initiative campaign groups are travelling around in cars with boards “For Milinkevich!” The Charter’97 press centre was informed about that by the head of Brest headquarters of the single democratic candidate Yury Hubarevich.
Several hundreds of Mahilyou dwellers have come to the meeting with an agent of the single democratic candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich, his HQ leader Syarhei Kalyakin. The meeting have taken place on a square in front of Mahilyou city executive committee.
“By censoring my speech the authorities are trying to conceal their weakness and lack of education,” Alyaksandr Milinkevich told commenting illegal outtakes in his speech broadcasted on the national radio today, March 6.
The Central Election Commission has authorized the ruling of Vitsebsk precinct election commission number 52, which had crossed out the name of a well-known human rights watchdog and journalist Valery Schukin from the list of observers. In an interview to the Charter’97 press center Valery Schukin called the ruling of the CEC “a political persecution”. As said by Schukin, the authorities have done that to prevent him from observing the presidential elections.
On March 4 the judge of Byalynichy court Uladzimir Huz sentenced coordinator of the youth resistance movement Zubr Aleh Myatselitsa to 15 days of arrest on a false accusation in petty hooliganism. A Zubr coordinator was released after 15 days of arrest, and in next to no time was detained again.
The head of the world`s largest regional security organization appealed Monday to the Belarusian leadership to ensure "fair and peaceful" presidential elections in the country. Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht, who is currently the chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said it was important that the Belarus authorities adhered to the fundamental freedoms of assembly and speech and refrained from interfering with the election process.
A senior official from one of Europe`s leading human rights organizations said Saturday that a dialogue with Belarus was necessary. Terry Davis, the secretary-general of the Council of Europe, said in an interview with RIA Novosti that conferences on Belarus, similar to one held in Prague on February 23, should be continued.
Ukrainian-Belarus relationship is strong enough to overcome some insignificant misunderstandings, Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk told. “It is obviously difficult to say we have friendly relations with the country which forbids Ukrainian citizens Belarus. Actually saying, it violates bilateral agreements. However, I would refrain from dotting or evaluating whether it is friendly or not deed. Nevertheless, we do reckon Ukrainian-Belarusian potential is greater than sporadic splashes which sometimes happen,” commented Forging Minister Tarasyuk in 1+1 Channel live broadcast.
On March 12 in Warsaw a big open concert of solidarity with Belarus is to take place. A legendary Belarusian rock-band N.R.M. is to start in the concert along with Polish bands. The even will take place at 5 p.m. on the central square of Nowe Miasto in Warsaw.
Belarusian cartoonist Aleg Minich and his wife complete visa application to, citing Aleg Minich, “one of the North America countries” where they were granted political shelter. Author of the Internet “Multclub” A.Minich was accused by the Republic prosecutor’s office on article 367, part 2 (slander on the President) and had to leave Belarus for the sake of his own freedom.
Democratic forces united candidate for the Belarusian President’s post Alyaxandr Milinkevich regards favorable the outcome of the meetings with Grodna region voters of March 3-5. “The country is obviously awakening. People are reflecting, people wait for changes. We are winning because we tell the truth to people. The power senses its ineffectuality”, - the united candidate said. Within three days Alyaxandr Milinkevich visited Lida, Grodna, Vaukavysk, Slonim, Baranavichy, Saligorsk.
Minsk campaign headquarters of the united opposition’s candidate has informed that after the mass meeting of Alyaksandr Milinkevich with his voters about 200 persons proffered their services as volunteers. Milinkevich’s campaigners are still most active in Minsk, the radio Svaboda informs.
A campaign of proclaiming certain Belarusian politicians “personas non grata” was launched in Kiev. Initiators of the campaign demand proper commentaries on the deportation of the Ukrainian journalists from Belarus.
On 2 March in the town of Shchuchyn the police searched the flats of Vasil Biazmen and Siarhei Liashkevich, local heads of the electoral headquarters of the candidate to presidency Aliaksandr Milinkevich. In both cases the police confiscated all computer carriers of information, some printed editions and documents from personal archives. Siarhei Liashkevich is being kept at the investigative isolator of Shchuchyn. A criminal case upon part 3 of article 293 of the Criminal Code (preparation of mass riot) was brought against him. According to the recently introduced amendments, this article provides up to six months of arrest or up to 3 years of jail.
Halls in Volkovysk, Slonim and Baranovichi could not accommodate all those who came to see opposition presidential candidate Aleksandr Milinkevich, who was on a campaign trip to the Grodno and Brest region on March 4 and 5.
Czechoslovakia`s leading communist-era dissident and the first president of post-communist Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel, on March 1 presented a human rights award in Prague to the Belarusian rights activist Alyaksandr Byalyatski, head of the Vyasna human rights center until it was closed down by the Belarusian authorities. Havel`s symbolic support for the award -- the Homo Homini prize presented at the annual One World festival of documentary films focused on human rights -- is the latest example of Havel`s longstanding backing for Belarus` democratic opposition and came at the end of a week marked by another diplomatic spat between the Belarusian and Czech governments. RFE/RL`s Belarus Service asked Havel to explain his stance on Belarus and share his advice to Western leaders and also to Belarus`s opposition ahead of presidential elections on March 19.
The Belarusian foreign ministry`s spokesman said that recent statements by officials of the United States, the European Union and the OSCE have only reinforced Minsk`s doubts that the assessments to be made by the observers of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) would be objective.
Belarusian Interior Minister Vladimir Naumov expressed his determination to combat opposition forces` illegal activities. "We know that the opposition is very actively preparing for March 19 [the main polling day in the country`s presidential election] by every possible illegal means," General Naumov said in an interview broadcast by Russia`s First Channel. "In Shchuchin [a city in the Grodno region], a man himself told us how he was being trained as a militant. We`ve seized a lot of cassettes showing how one should behave during mass disturbances and counteract the police."
There may be snow in the streets, but Belarus is getting hotter and hotter. Last Thursday Alexander Kozulin, an opposition candidate in the upcoming presidential election and the ex-rector of the main university of the country (Belarus State University), was seriously beaten by government security agents after he tried to enter a World Belarusian Forum chaired by President Alexander Lukashenko.
On March 3 in Kyiv a meeting of the head of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, Yulia Tymoshenko with the leader of the civil initiative “We Remember” Iryna Krasouskaya took place. Yulia Tymoshenko has expressed solidarity with the families of disappeared politicians in Belarus, Yury Zakharanka, Viktar Hanchar, a businessman and public leader Anatol Krasouski and a journalist Dzmitry Zavadski; and certitude that the justice will prevail, and the guilty would be punished.