| POLITICS |
Picket in Chicago: For Freedom and Democracy In Belarus
Free Choice For Belarusian People Demanded In Washington (Photo)
On March 16 a picket was held in Chicago under a slogan “For freedom and democracy in Belarus”. It was organized by a group of American supporters of democratic changes in Belarus, and was headed by James Mellinson, a theatre manager, art historian, an activist of the movement for human rights. The protest was held on March 16 in the afternoon in front of the building of Chicago office of Illinois Governor. Representatives of the Belarusian community and association “Zemlyaki” and other emigrant organizations have taken part in the protest.
Belarusian Ambassador to Poland Pavel Latushka: “No One Has Right to Ban Holding Rallies For Opposition”
A protest demonstration was held on March 16, on the Day of Belarusian Solidarity, in front of the Belarusian Embassy in Washington. Representatives of Belarusian Diaspora and American public organizations have gathered under Belarusian national flags. Picketers have unfurled a giant jeans flag as a sign of solidarity with Belarus, where jeans has become a symbol of freedom and changes.
OSCE Chairman Karel De Gucht deplores atmosphere of growing intimidation in the run-up to the elections in Belarus
“Undoubtedly, no one has a right to prohibit holding demonstrations for the opposition. It is the basic human right, which should be observed in Belarus as well,” told Belarusian Ambassador to Poland Pavel Latushka in an interview to the Polish radio station TOK FM.
Young Europeans take the streets against the last dictatorship in Europe!
OSCE Chairman, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht, is increasingly concerned about the situation in the run-up to Sunday`s Presidential election in Belarus. He condemns the harassment and arrests of opposition candidates and their supporters as well as other forms of intimidation by the Belarus authorities.
Opposition candidates urge law enforcement officers to refrain from carrying out illegal orders
From Edinburgh to Skopje, Barcelona to Gothenburg, Members of Young European Federalists (JEF) have this morning successfully prevented statues from speaking freely in order to show their support to the citizens in Belarus whose voice is been silenced by Belarus` dictatorship. Young people from all over Europe made a statement in support of democracy in Belarus, and showed that the situation in Belarus is of concern for all.
Milinkevich promises that Belarusian students expelled for political reasons will be able to continue their studies abroad
The two opposition candidates in Belarus` presidential election have issued a joint statement urging the law enforcement officers to refrain from carrying out illegal orders that may provoke violence, arrests and bloodshed.
Belarusian authorities deny visas to six Lithuanian MPs
Belarusian students expelled for political reasons will be able to continue their studies at universities in foreign countries, said opposition presidential candidate Aleksandr Milinkevich, according to his press office.
Six more opposition activists apprehended in Minsk
The Belarusian authorities on Wednesday denied visas to six Lithuanian MPs who planned to monitor the country`s presidential poll on Sunday. A total of 16 members of Lithuania`s Seimas had applied for Belarusian visas to observe the vote as part of the observation mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Lithuanian MP Vaclov Stankevic told BelaPAN.
Alyaksandr Kazulin: “How Could One Trust Yarmoshyna, Appointed By Lukashenka?”
Six opposition activists were apprehended as a result of a police raid on an apartment on Krasnaya Street in Minsk on March 17, prominent opposition leader Vyacheslav Sivchik told BelaPAN.
Number of Lukashenka’s Supporters Declines
“Together with Alyaksandr Milinkevich we have stated that the electoral campaign in Belarus is carried out with gross violations of the law. Today the head of the CEC Lidziya Yarmoshyna is acting exclusively in favour of the one candidate, Lukashenka. The CEC, prosecutor’s offices and courts do not react to our numerous complaints about law violations. How can we trust Yarmoshyna, who besides had been appointed by Lukashenka? Yarmoshyna is out of place in the CEC,” told the presidential candidate, former rector of the Belarusian State University Alyaksandr Kazulin in an interview to the Chartyer’97 press center, commenting on the joint statement on non-confidence to the CEC, signed by him together with the democratic candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich.
Milinkevich and Kazulin Pass Motion of No Confidence Against CEC and Address Force Structures
Today the head of the Central Electoral Committee Lidziya Yarmoshyna has demonstrated journalists some “false” documents with her signature, concerning results of the presidential elections on March 19. Names of the four candidates for presidency and a number of votes in their support have been entered to the document demonstrated y Yarmoshyna. In particular, Milinkevich granted 51% of votes, Lukashenka 37%, A. Kazulin – 7.8%, S. Hajdukevich – 1.2%, the CEC informs.
Comments by Javier SOLANA, EU High Representative for the CFSP, following Belarusian Foreign Minister Martynov’s warning to EU Ambassadors in Minsk
On March 17 presidential candidates, the leader of the united democratic forces Alyaksandr Milinkevich and a former rector of the Belarusian State University Alyaksandr Kazulin signed two joint documents. The candidates signed an open address to force structures and the leadership of ministries and judicial system of the Republic of Belarus on inadmissibility non-admission of use of force on March 19, and demands of immediate release of all political prisoners and detained activists of the campaign. Besides, joint statement has been signed on distrust and dissolution of the Central Election Committee on Elections and Referenda.
Donkey Ears of KGB
Javier SOLANA, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), expressed his indignation and surprise at the warning of Belarusian Foreign Minister Martynov. He recalled that full responsibility for upholding the fundamental rights and guaranteeing the safety of the Belarusian population lies with the authorities of Belarus.
17:51, 17/03/2006, Zmitser Bandarenka, Charter’97 coordinator
Belarus Will Be Free!
The chairman of the KGB Sukharenka has demonstrated his unprofessionalism for two times. The both times, announcing that he has uncovered conspiracy of opposition, he didn’t bother to make it coherent. According to Sukharenka, opposition’s plot is based on results of exit-polls allegedly made up earlier. According to those exit-polls information, Milinkevich would have 53% of votes, and Lukashenka 41%.
Hanging tough against tyranny
Actions of solidarity with Belarus were held on March 16 in two dozens of cities of Poland. In Warsaw a great number of Poles and Belarusians gathered in the alley named after the legendary Polish trade union “Solidarity”. According to the participants of the protest, it symbolizes connection of Belarusian fight with dictatorship with Polish fight against communism.
15:10, 17/03/2006, Mikheil Saakashvili, «International Herald Tribune»
Over 70 opposition activists jailed in last few days, Milinkevich`s camp says
When Belarus holds its presidential election this Sunday, it will not only represent the most important vote in Europe this year, but will also be the most critical test to date of Europe`s tolerance towards dictatorship on its own continent.
Zhoda closed, Tovarishch print-run seized
More than 70 opposition activists were arrested and sentenced to short jail sentences in the last few days.
Minsk says detained Georgian MPs had no accreditation
Judge Aksana Mikhnyuk at Belarus` Supreme Economic Court on March 17 ordered the closure of the Minsk-based independent newspaper Zhoda over alleged two violations of Article 5 of the media law. The same court suspended the newspaper on March 7 at the request of the information ministry.
Policemen are with People
The Belarusian authorities` move to deny nine Georgian lawmakers entry is lawful, Andrei Popov, spokesman for the Belarusian foreign ministry, told BelaPAN.
Regime is afraid of students
The campaign headquarters of the democratic candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich has received an email signed by officers of the law-enforcing agencies. “Dear presidential candidate” Most of the representatives of the law-enforcing agencies are for you, as everybody is tired of living for one day, tolerating rudeness and humiliation by persons over us who live like “lords”, when others are like rightless serfs,” the letter reads.
Number of Oppositional Candidates’ Volunteers Grows
According to the numerous messages received by the UCP hot line, electoral legislature violations grew systematic in the Minsk universities. It was reported from several departments of the Belarusian National Technologic University (BNTU) that one half of the students had voted ahead of schedule; those who hadn’t were put on “black lists” that was then passed to professors, who urged students to leave lectures and vote instead.
Alyaksandr Kazulin: “I’m For Revolution In People’s Consciousness”
Dozens of activists of the campaign headquarters Alyaksandr Milinkevich and Alyaksandr Kazulin are now behind bars of special detention canters and remand prisons. For the most part the arrests were made last week. Despite of the complex of preventive measures aimed at making less people come to October Square on March 19, the number of people who volunteer to help in candidate’s campaign is rapidly growing, the Radio Svaboda informs.
Lukashenka’s rate fall causes powers’ panic
On Thursday in the hall of Minsk cinema “Druzhba” having 600 seats, a meeting with voters was held by the presidential candidate Alyaksandr Kazulin. The meeting was peaceful. Kazulin said that he is not an adherent of revolution and violence, but an advocate of a revolution of consciousness of people, which is taking place already. As said by Kazulin, on March 20 the country would become different. He believes that Lukashenka faces a choice. “He can stay in history a positive figure, the first president of the independent state, Belarus. But after March 19 he enters the last dictator of Europe category. And we all know what future awaits all dictators,” Kazulin said.
Belarusian Weapons Exports: A Possible Source of Laundered Funds?
Several days ago a letter arrived at Charter’97 press-center. The letter signed by “Officer of Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus” concerned the plans of the Special Forces for March 19. A great deal of such letters has been received lately. Usually they do not get edited on the web site. After the recent statements of Sukharenka, Navumau and Miklashevich, however, we regard the information of the letter worth consideration.
12:21, 17/03/2006, By Ethan S. Burger
Belarus: EU External Relations Commissioner `Concerned` About Vote
As noted by Transparency International, accurately accounting for the composition and volume of the world trade in weapons is a difficult task. 1
This is due to a variety of reasons, including the secrecy surrounding the size of defense budgets, the large amount of money involved, the prevalence of middlemen in transactions, the difficulty in comparing the sale price of weapon systems (which must cover servicing and spare parts), and other factors.
Alyaksandr Milinkevich: “On March 19 We’ll Come With Flowers”
The EU external relations commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, told RFE/RL in an interview today that the EU sees "quite a lot" of flaws and difficulties in the run-up to the presidential election in Belarus on March 19. However, she said the EU will announce its final verdict only after the polls have closed.
Group of eight Georgian lawmakers detained at Minsk airport
In Barysau meeting of Alyaksandr Milinkevich with voters were held outside. The city executive committee refused to afford an assembly hall of the cinema “Kastrychnik” to the local headquarters of the united opposition candidate. However, about 500 voters came to the building of the cinema, including the deputy chairman of the town executive committee Syarhei Trusau, the head of the town electoral committee Vasil Barannik, the leadership of the local police. The meeting was held on the stairs of the cinema.
Council of Europe secretary general slams Belarus` election campaign, predicts undemocratic vote
Eight members of the Georgian parliament who flew in from Vienna on March 16 to observe Belarus` presidential election were detained at the national airport in Minsk, a source at Georgia`s Rustavi 2 television channel told BelaPAN.
Belarus: Arrests, jailings mark pre-election press crackdown
Terry Davis, secretary general of the Council of Europe, said that the presidential election in Belarus "cannot be qualified as democratic in any meaning of the word."
KGB opens criminal case in connection with alleged coup plot
The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the latest government crackdown against independent journalists in the days before Sunday¢s presidential election. Police arrested at least four journalists this week, and local courts handed them sentences of five to 10 days in jail on charges of hooliganism.
Milinkevich will not be arrested until after election, KGB chief says
The Belarusian Committee for State Security (KGB) has opened a criminal case in connection with what it says is a plot to topple Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Milinkevich: We are not terrorists
The head of the Committee for State Security (KGB) said that presidential candidate Aleksandr Milinkevich would not be arrested until after the election.
Interior Minister Naumov says he cannot guarantee safety of reporters at Sunday’s anti-government rally in Minsk
Opposition presidential candidate Aleksandr Milinkevich flatly rejected KGB chief Stepan Sukhorenko’s accusation of preparations for terrorist acts.
Lebedko fears authorities want to set him up
Belarusian Interior Minister Vladimir Naumov said that he could not guarantee safety to journalists during the protest that opposition forces plan to stage in Minsk on March 19. He told reporters on Thursday that he could guarantee it only if the reporters did not move outside an area that police officers would designate specially for them. “But if you are going to climb on fences, run around, provoke something… then think about your safety yourself,” General Naumov said to the laughter of some reporters present.
Lebedko denies involvement in terrorist conspiracy
Anatoly Lebedko, a key member of opposition presidential candidate Aleksandr Milinkevich`s campaign team, was released after a brief detention on March 15. Police searched through his garage but found nothing that could implicate him in any crime.
Together against dictatorship
Anatoly Lebedko, a senior aide to presidential candidate Aleksandr Milinkevich, flatly denied his involvement in any terrorist conspiracy. “The allegations that I am plotting a terrorist act are absurd. I would advise the persons who make them to undergo a medical examination,” he told BelaPAN on Thursday.
United democratic forces candidate for the President’s post Alyaxandr Milinkevich and candidate for the President’s post, former rector of the Belarusian State University Aliaksandr Kazulin are to hold a united meeting with voters of Minsk today. Minsk dwellers can meet with the candidates today at 6 p.m. by the “Elektron” cinema house (Kazintsa Street, 117).