Week 5: January 18-24

January 24th, 2011   Theme: Belarus

Official inauguration of Alexander Lukasenka for the fourth term of presidency. Andrus Filipcyk, poet and well-known programmer, is arrested for laughing at Lukashenka watching him on a TV-screen in a street in Minsk.

January 18

KGB is carrying out searches at the home of Jauhien Vaskovic, journalist from the newspaper of Babrujski Kurjer. He is a member of the Belarusian Association of Journalists and is sentenced to 10 days imprisonment for „hooliganism” on December 16, 2010 when he was observing early voting during the election campaign. Barys Harecki, correspondent from Radyjo Racyja, is sentenced to 14 days imprisonment for attending the demonstration on December 19, 2010. The flat of Alaksandr Kavalcuk, coordinator of the election campaign of the oppositional candidate Vital Rymaseuski, is searched by KGB. The home of Alaksandr Atroscankau, press-secretary of candidate Andrej Sannikau, is also searched by KGB.
British Embassy in Minsk is arranging a reception for families to political prisoners where the current situation is being discussed.

January 19

KGB is continuing questioning, searches and detentions at the locations of democratic activists, among them oppositional candidate Vital Rymaseuski is called to yet another questioning. The office of the organisation of Center for Human Rights and the flat of its chairperson Rajisa Michajlouskaja, are searched by KGB. Three computers, a mobile phone and flash cards are confiscated. Andrej Dzmitryjeu, main coordinator of the campaign Tell the Truth, is detained by KGB. He is treated to a “warning conversation” by the KGB. He4 is told that it is better for him to avoid the solidarity action in the evening the same day. At the same time the KGB threatens him with possible future problems if he goes to court with a case against the state newspaper Sovieckaja Bielorussija for their discrediting fake materials against the opposition. Viktar Kalesnik and Alaksandr Kalincau, democratic activists in the town of Navapolack, are detained for showing in front of the local city council a banner saying “Freedom to political prisoners”. Lidzija Sahidulina, coordinator for the election campaign of Uladzimir Niaklajeu in the town of Vociebsk, is questioned by KGB.
At least 50 people gather with candles and flowers in front of the KGB building and on the Independent Square in Minsk, as a solidarity action for political prisoners. More than 22 people are arrested, among them international observer Michas Kamienieu, Mikita Valadzko, actor of Free Theater and Vladimir Chudentsov, correspondent of the Russian News Agency.

January 20

KGB is continuing questioning, searches and detention at the locations of democratic activists. Andrus Lubancuk, activist of the Belarusian Christian Democracy, is called to KGB for questioning. During questioning KGB in the town of Bres, tries to force democratic activist Palina Sarenda-Panasiuk to co-operate by promising to give back all confiscated materials. 20 detained participants of yesterday’s solidarity action are released after a night in prison. Two of them, Mikita Valodzin and Kiryla Kudrou, are fined with 1.050.000 Belarusian roubles (approximately 270 euro) each. Uladzimier Jaromienak, activist the organisation of Malady Front (Young Front) does not came back from questioning at KGB. He spends 7 days in prison. Earlier he spent 15 days in prison following the demonstration on December 19, 2010.
The TV-show of Siarhiej Darafiejeu, journalist at the state channel ANT, is closed. The reason is said to be a few „inappropriate” questions to Lidzija Jarmosyna, chairperson of the Central Electoral Commission, during an open discussion on December 19, 2010.

January 21

Viacaslau Bolbat and Tacciana Malascanka in the town of Baranavicy are some of the activists that are being harassed by the KGB. Usievalad Sasaryn (UCP) did not come back yesterday from the questioning at the KGB. He is sentenced to 9 days imprisonment. The court refuses to give any information about the process. Hienadz Fiedynic, chairman of the Independent Trade Union, is as a witness taken early morning by Police from his home for questioning about the demonstration on December 19, 2010. Kastus Zukouski , democratic activist from the town of Homiel, is released from jail after eight days but in spite of this the Public Prosecutor Office opens a new case against him accusing him of handing out leaflets in places where this was forbidden during the election campaign. A trial takes place in the town of Mahilou against at least nine activists for solidarity actions. The flat which used to be the office of oppositional candidate Ales Michalevic is searched by KGB. Aleh Larycau, coordinator for Michalevic’s campaign is questioned. Materials and computers are confiscated.
The Supreme Court rejects the appeal from the Belarusian Helsinki Committee to consider the presidential elections falsified and invalid.
Official inauguration of Alexander Lukasenka for the fourth term of presidency. The event is officially ignored by EU and US diplomats.

January 22

Belarusian authorities censure all TV-broadcasts from Russian TV channels in Belarus about Lukashenka’s inauguration.
Action of silence: people are gathering n the October Square in Minsk with candles to show solidarity with political prisoners. At least 30 people participate. After only a moment or two Special Police Forces brutally arrest eight participants, including one individual using crutches (Karakin Uladzimir, citizen of the Ukraine, Chajsun Dzmitry, Karamalikau Dzmitry, Abrazcou Andrus, Hajfou Maksim, Nadasiejka Siarhiej, Viniarski Maksim and Lichaceuski Jaraslau). They are all taken to the police station where they spent a few hours before being released. According to a human rights defender, the police opened administrative cases against the participants.
Andrus Filipcyk, poet and well-known programmer, is arrested for laughing at Lukashenka watching him on a TV-screen in a street in Minsk. He was fined to 525.000 Belarusian roubles (approximately 130 euro).

January 24

Hienadź Barbaryč, one of Belarus’ leading journalists and a reporter for Radio Racyja is detained by KGB. In order to be released, he is forced to delete all recorded interviews with families of activists arrested during the solidarity action near the KGB building. A few hours later, he is released.
Once again, the Ministry of Justice of is trying to put pressure on lawyers who defend arrested oppositional candidates and activists, among them Paval Sapielka who defends presidential candidate Andrej Sannikau. Paval Sapielka together with Uladzimir Niaklajeu’s lawyer, Tamara Sidarenka, are deeply concerned as the authorities do as much as possible to prevent them from meeting their clients. They file complaints to the court.

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