Week 3: January 3-10

January 10th, 2011   Theme: Belarus

After launching a civil committee for solidarity with political prisoners, the authorities start threatening the Belarusian Popular Front Party to cancel rental agreement of the office.

January 3

More than 150 arrested are released including Andrej Dzmitryjeu (Tell the truth), chairman of electoral campaign for Uladzimir Niaklajeu, as well as candidate Vital Rymaseuski from the Belarusian Christian Democracy. The latter cancels his press-conference after the KGB threatens him with a new imprisonment.

January 4

KGB searches the flat of Aleś Bierazienka, a journalist from the Belsat.
Arrested Michaś Paškievič is having serious health problems.
Democratic activist from the organisation of Malady Front (Young Front) Źmicier Fiedaruk, who was arrested during the demonstration on December 19, gets a prolonged imprisonment, eight more days. According to the officials, those are the days which Fiedaruk “passed up” in 2008!

January 5

Several KGB officers make a search at the Belarusian Helsinki Committee.
A student from the European Humanities University, Hleb Chamutou, is stopped at the Lithuanian border after he spent 12 days in Belarusian jail (for participation in the demonstration on December 19). Later the officials inform him that he has been put on the black list which means that he is prohibited to leave the country.
Two arrested Russians are accused of participation in the riots of December 19.

January 10

The Belarusian Popular Front Party receives an official letter stating that the authorities will not prolong its rental contract. In reality this means that the party will be closed as according to the law the organisation is supposed to have a legal/registered address in order to keep the registration. The liquidation of Belarus’ oldest democratic force is the continuation of the repressions against the democratic society. The office of the BPF Party has always been a zone of freedom for thousands of people and is sometimes called “the Island of freedom”. After the elections on December 19, at the office of the PBF Party, the opposition has founded the movement Vyzvalennie (release) in order to help all political prisoners and demand their immediate release. The liquidation of BPF may lead to a lot of new arrests since, according to the law, individuals acting in the name of an unregistered organisation risk two years of imprisonment.

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