Week 10: February 22-28

February 28th, 2011   Theme: Belarus

The second trial in the criminal case of “mass riots”. Oppositional candidate Ales Michalevic makes a statement about the torture he experienced in the KGB’s jail.

February 22

The second trial was held in the criminal case of “mass riots”. This time, two citizens of the Russian Federation stand trial accused of participating in “mass riots” in connection to the demonstration after the elections on December 19, 2010. In the end, the court decides to postpone the trial until March 1.

A group of unknown people visits Alena Jelavaja, mother of well-known democratic activist and famous blogger Tacciana Jelavaja, trying to get information about the whereabouts of her daughter. As Alena Jelavaja says she does not know anything, they threaten her with serious problems and court.

February 23

KGB informs that it’s prohibited to send postcards to political prisoners in custody.
Zmicier Bulanau, who hasn’t been politically active but who participated in the demonstration after the elections, has been transmitted to a hospital from jail with a severe health condition. He was beaten by the Special Police Forces on December 19 and sentenced to prison for ten days. He was arrested again in January and jailed. For a long time he was refused medical care.
KGB officers search the flat of the grandmother of Maksim Sierhijec, political activist from European Belarus.
Lilija Lahucina, entrepreneur in the town of Svietlahorks, stands trial accused of attacking four policemen. The incident happened about half a year ago when Lilija Lahucina was trying to protect her husband from the Police hitting one of the policemen with her purse resulting in a bruit. Subsequently, the Police broke Lilijas Lahucinas hand. The representative from the Department of Interior Affairs calls for a sentence of 3-6 years.

February 24

Ihar Paplouski, lawyer of Vasil Parfiankou, political activist from the election team of the oppositional candidate Uladzimir Niaklajeu, appeals to the court on behalf of his client. Vasil Parfiankou was sentenced to four years in a high security prison, despite the lack of any conclusive evidence.
Uladzimir Cielepun, Human Rights Defender in the town of Mazyr, is questioned by the KGB as a witness in yet another “mass riots” case.

February 25

The Parliament of the Republic of Poland has passed a resolution on Belarus criticising the regime of president Lukashenka.
An application by the BPF Youth in Viciebsk to organise a manifestation on the State Police Day was denied by local authorities. The event was a protest against the Police’s unlawful actions against Belarusian citizens and against a democratic society.
Stanislau Fiedzko, entrepreneur in the town of Brest is questioned by the local Police regarding the events after the elections. They also question Vadzim Kabancuk, activist from the Belarusian Christian Democracy. Kabancuk was questioned upon being released from jail where he spent ten days.
Danila Barysievic, activist from the youth organisation of the UCP Party Young Democrats, was arrested by the Police making emotional gestures to the passing car of President Lukashenka.

February 28

Oppositional candidate Ales Michalevic makes a statement about the torture he experienced in the KGB’s jail. “Somebody has to stop this concentration camp”, claimed Mihalevic. He has previously signed an agreement on cooperation with KGB and was released on recognizance on this agreement. At a press conference in Minsk, Michalevic tears the agreement. He also describes how he was forced to read the statement condemning December 19, events in front of a video camera. He describes the torture to Viasna:

“On January 10, the “guards’ guards” — people wearing black masks without identification marks — dragged me out of the cell, handcuffed me, and lifted my arms up by handcuffs so as to lower me face down to the concrete floor. They dragged me down a spiral staircase to a basement room. After twisting my arms behind my back as far upward as they would go, until my joints started cracking, they told me I needed to do everything requested of me. They kept my arms in this position for a long time and pushed them higher and higher until I said I would comply with all requests. The pre-trial detention center personnel were not seen even in the corridors while this was going on.”
Seven activists from the youth organisation of the UCP Party Young Democrats are arrested on the central square in Minsk by Special Police Forces. The seven are: Chairman Aleh Korban as well as activists Alaksandr Stapanienka, Dzmitry Bajko, Aleh Kirol, Dzmitry Silcanka, Michas Kulic and Zachar Michalkin,
Early morning, the Police visit the home of photojournalist Ksienija Avimava and bring her in for interrogation about the events on December 19.
Barys Chamajda, distributor of the independent press, stands before the court of the Čyhunačny district of the town of Homiel. Barys Chamajda was arrested by the Police when he distributed independent newspapers and other information materials. Despite that all of them were legal and registered by the state; he stands accused for organising an unauthorised picket. The court fined Mr. Chamajda 1.000.050 BYR (about 250 €).

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