A political prisoner, an activist of the civil initiative of elections observation Mikola Astrejka has been sent to a colony with a reinforced regime in the city of Shklou, Mahilyou region. Radio Svaboda was informed about that by his mother. Shklou colony is considered a colony with a reinforced regime, while Astrejka has been sentenced to 2 years in a minimum-security correctional labor facility.
The criminal case of the Young Front leader Zmitser Dashkevich has been taken to the court already. The Charter’97 press center was informed about that by an activist of the Young Front, political prisoner Artur Finkevich, who had received a letter from Zmitser. As said by Finkevich, it is not excluded that the trial over the Young Front leader would start in October.
Today at a press conference in Minsk Alyaksandr Lukashenka recalled a situation with sugar shortage in the middle of the 1990ies. “I invited the head of the presidential administration (Myasnikovich) and Minsk Mayor (Yarmoshyn) and said to them: if there would not be enough sugar in every shop by the morning, I will jail you. They were carrying sacks of sugar together with others to shops, they had found that sugar,” Lukashenka said. “Maybe, that was right that I was called a dictator. What could I do? I had to provide people with necessary goods,” A. Lukashenka said.
Talking about his impertinence in building the union relations with Russia, A. Lukashenka noted that “an emotional moment” was present there. “12 years ago Belarus was a developed state brought to despair, Russian people were packing things, awful processes were taking place,” the president reminded. “And at that moment the nation chose me and placed to the office a snot-nosed 38-year-old. Why haven’t I become a swindler, a crook, why haven’t I built a palace for myself?” Lukashenka asked a rhetoric question. “I cannot give up those things 12 years ago,” he said.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka believes that the International Monetary Fund “hates” Belarus for independent economical policy. “A year ago the IMF admitted high rates of economic growth of Belarus and our model, but they hate us for that greatly,” A. Lukashenka said in Minsk at a press conference for representatives of Russian provincial mass media.
On September 27, 2006 Belarusian human rights defenders addressed the OSCE office Ambassador with a letter. In the letter they express their deep concern about the fate of young political prisoners Artur Finkevich and Zmitser Dashkevich in conjunction with inhumane conditions of their detention and methods used by the administration of their penitentiary institutions.
The gas price proposed by Gazprom for Belarus in 2007 would indisputably cause breaking Belarus-Russia relations. “Such a gas price rise is unequivocally breaking of all relations. And it’s a sure thing for economy at least,” Alyaksandr Lukashenka told at a press conference in Minsk for Russian provincial mass media.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka declared that Vladimir Putin “offers to go the way of the European Union” while creating the union. The Belarusian leader has told about that at a press conference for Russian provincial media today. At the same time, the position of the Belarusian side is different. “Why should we start from Noachic deluge, if we have been living in one country just yesterday?” Lukashenka asked. He believes that Belarus and Russia in creating a union should get the best of what had been taking place the common history, and discard what was unacceptable.
Baptising 70 people in a lake has led to the pastor of one of Belarus` largest Pentecostal churches being fined over 150 times the minimum wage, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. This is, to Forum 18`s knowledge, the first time that a congregation of a mainstream Protestant Union has had such a huge fine imposed for religious activity without state permission. Judge Oksana Kusheva of Baranovichi Municipal Court imposed the fine on Pastor Sergei Poznyakovich and fined the Pentecostal Union`s bishop for Brest region, Nikolai Kurkayev, a significantly smaller amount. Baranovichi`s state official dealing with religious affairs, Ruslan Krutko, told Forum 18 that Pastor Poznyakovich`s fine was so large because the church performed similarly unsanctioned baptisms in the same lake in 2005. Confirming that the authorities had not responded formally to a request to be allowed to perform the baptisms, Krutko nonetheless insisted that official permission must be obtained in advance. A church member commented to Forum 18 that "if we are fined again within a year, the authorities will have grounds to close the church down."