A commission of the administration of Minsk`s Partizansky district on January 26 imposed a fine of 310,000 rubels ($145) on opposition activist Aleksei Shidlovsky for pasting up "Jeans for Freedom!" stickers.
Amnesty International Germany has started a separate campaign in support of imprisoned Belarusian opposition politician Aleksandr Kozulin. The German office of the international human rights organization urged people to send letters of support to the Vitba-3 correctional institution near Vitebsk where the former presidential candidate is serving a prison term. "Words of support will be of invaluable assistance for him in these hard times," it said.
“The today’s society has been expecting changes. There are many worthy people both among officials and democratic public who wish the situation in Belarus to change as quickly as possible and its political system to turn to democracy. It is nothing but a myth that everyone in Belarus has been afraid of everything and has been dreaming only of not to be involved. That is not true. Day after day, especially this year, their expectations are going to expand,” Mikhail Marinich, former minister for foreign economic relations of Belarus, deputy of the 12 Supreme Soviet, extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador of the Republic of Belarus declared in his interview to the Charter’97 press –center.
Yesterday Channel One (Russia) in its evening news broadcast commented new statements by Lukashenka about a possibility to annul recent gas and oil agreements with Russia. In the coverage Russian reporters used clips from documentaries of a well-known Belarusian filmmaker Yury Khaschavatski, “Ploscha” (“The Square”) and “An Ordinary President”.
A date for hearing in the case of suspension of activities of the Party of Communists of Belarus (PCB) has been set. This case is to be tried by the Supreme Court of the country, Interfax was informed in the court. The hearing of the case is to start on February 5. A representative of the Supreme Court specified that the suit to suspend activities of the PCB has been initiated by Justice Ministry of Belarus.
The leader of Social Democratic party Mikola Statkevich, who is serving the sentence of correctional labour in Pukhavichy district Minsk region, has been allowed to visit his sick father living in the city of Baranavichy, Radio Svaboda informs.
The European Union has learnt with deep regret that the Belarus Helsinki Committee has been ordered by the Presidential Administration’s property management department to vacate its office in Minsk by the end of this week. The Presidential Administration’s department notified the termination of the rental agreement and refused to let other vacant rooms to the Committee. This follows the seizure on 5 December 2006 by Belarusian court authorities of equipment owned by the Belarus Helsinki Committee. The Committee is facing not only eviction from its premises but also the loss of its legal address which could lead to the closure of this, the last remaining human rights NGO registered in Belarus.
Reveling in high oil prices, Russian leaders of business and politics came to town to persuade many of the world`s movers and shakers here that their land is not the bully that its detractors depict it to be.
Foreign Ministry of Poland has filed a note of protest to Belarusian embassy in connection with prohibiting Deputy Speaker of Polish Senate Krzysztof Putra to enter Belarus. A news agency BelaPAN was told about that by an activist of the public association Union of Poles in Belarus Andrei Poczobut.
Iran acclaims success of Belarus in different spheres and is ready for a close cooperation and exchange of experience, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a meeting with Belarusian Foreign Minister Syarhei Martynau in Teheran, IRNA agency informs. Martynau underlined the need to expand ties between the two sides, especially in bank and customs spheres. As informational agencies inform with a reference to Iran`s Minister of Foreign Affairs Manouchehr Mottaki, an agreement has been achieved that Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would visit Belarus in the near future.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s speech about a necessity to annul agreements with Russia, was televised on Russian First TV channel yesterday. “The delegation which is in talks today has been instructed directly by me that the companies offering such contracts at such prices on Russian oil transit to Europe would be charged additional fees, so that we could compensate for our losses,” Lukashenka said. “We know where the sensitive parts of the people who are trying to strike us. We could charge fees on tractors, refrigerators, washing machines, TV sets and other goods; we know how to charge those who are responsible for doing so,” the Belarusian ruler said.