Week 8: February 8-14February 14th, 2011 Theme: Belarus
The City Council in Minsk informs the Belarusian Popular Party that the contract for the party office in Minsk will not be prolonged. State TV channel ANT invites famous oppositional politician Viktar Ivaskievic (one of the leaders for freedom from the Soviet Union) to participate in a TV-show.
KGB is continuing interrogations and searches of homes of activists, among them are Uladzimir Lemies, election agent for oppositional candidate Andrej Sannikau, is questioned by the Police; Oppositional candidate Uladzimir Niaklajeu is questioned by KGB; The office of the UCP Party is searched by KGB. All computers and materials are confiscated; Democratic activists from the BPF Party, Valancin Labacou and Siarhiej Nahacin, are sentenced to seven respectively five days imprisonment for participating in a solidarity action; Julija Pasko, activist from the town of Brest, is questioned by KGB.
Piatro Mihurski, Professor Economic Sciences in the town of Mahilou, is forced to quit the job. Mihulski was a campaign coordinator for oppositional candidate Uladzimir Niaklajeu.
The Ministry of Justice is refusing the organisation Tell the Truth to register, making it dangerous to work on behalf of this organisation.
KGB is continuing questioning of the democratic activists. Kryscina Sacikava, activist from the town of Mahilou, is questioned by KGB in Minsk; The flat of Sviatlana Michalcanki, activist from the left party of Fair World in the town of Svietlahorks, is searched by KGB; Nadzieja Krapivina, wife of arrested democratic activist and vice-chairman of the organisation of Malady Front (Young Front), is questioned by KGB; Dzianis Sadouski, democratic activist from the Belarusian Christian Democracy, is questioned by KGB; Zmicier Carniak, activist of the campaign European Belarus is brought to the Police in Minsk for interrogation.
Activist Michas Lebiedz is sentenced to 12 days imprisonment for participating in solidarity action on December 20, 2010, the day after the election, despite the fact that he did not participate in the action. The reason he got arrested was that he was going to the church nearby the Independence Square where the action took place. The trial took place more than a month later because he was harshly beaten during the arrest, got serious injuries and had to be treated in hospital.
Activists, Kasia Ludvih, Palina Kurjanovic and Maksim Viniarski, are released from jail after ten days. They were accused of participating in an action of solidarity with the political prisoners.
The Belarusian Popular Front Party sends over 2.600 appeals/guarantees from Belarusian citizens in support of political prisoners who risk up to 15 years imprisoment. The PBF Party is continuing the campaign in the support of political prisoners demanding their immediate release.
The surge of interrogations and searches of democratic activists and journalists continues. Alaksandr Luskievic, editor of the online edition of the newspaper Narodnaja Vola, is questioned by KGB; Juljan Misiukievic, activist of the organisation of Malady Front (Young Front), is picked up by the KGB during a lesson at the university. He is questioned for the sixth time by KGB officers. The flat of Dzianis Lazara, activist of the organisation of Malady Front (Young Front), is searched by KGB officers;
Two activists from the youth organisation of the UCP Party Young Democrats, Zmicier Silcanka and Aleh Kierol, are detained while spreading a special edition of the independent newspaper Plosca (The Square) in the centre of Minsk.
The KGB tries to pressure Aleh Ahiejeu, the lawyer of the oppositional candidate Ales Michalevic, who is in custody, by coming to his office and claiming all possible information about A. Ahiejeu. The KGB does not provide any documentation on the issue.
KGB continues questioning democratic activists. Stanislau Chaladovic and Uladzimir Mikalajcyk, in the town of Biaroza, are questioned by KGB officers; Paval Varasylau, activist in the town of Mahilou, is also questioned by KGB. Several officers “visit” him at work.
Andrej Pacobut, journalist from the town of Hrodna, is sentenced to 15 days imprisoment for participating in unauthorized action on December 19. He will spend 13,5 days in jail, since he has already spent 1,5 days in a Police van.
The City Council in Minsk informs the Belarusian Popular Party that the contract for the party office in Minsk will not be prolonged, which means that on April 1, the authorities will take over the office space. According to the law in Belarus, a political party cannot work officially without a juridical address, which means the closure of the BPF Party.
State TV channel ANT invites famous oppositional politician Viktar Ivaskievic (one of the leaders for freedom from the Soviet Union) to participate in a TV-show. The topic is official relations between Poland and Belarus. Ivaskievic has one condition – to be able to talk about the political prisoners. The TV channel does not accept this and Ivaskievic doesn’t appear in the TV-show.
Two democratic activists in the town of Hrodna, Kryscina Hierasimcyk and Volha Bahdankievic, are detained with some leaflets about the political prisoners and are being accused of making a graffiti „Luku na muku” (Tear Luka to pieces). They spent more than half a day at the police station but are released. While they are at the police station, the Police search their rooms in a student’s hall of residence, confiscate a computer, some books and political materials.
Several KGB officers and the Police illegally come into the flat of activist Sviataslau (for safety he doesn’t want his surname in print), from Malady Front (Young Front), who is studying in the Minsk College of Art. Sviataslau has made eight statuettes as awards for the winners of the „I love Belarus” prize. The ceremony is supposed to be held in the evening, however, the KGB searches the flat and confiscates all the works of Sviataslau – without making a protocol, which is needed in accordance with the process of confiscation.
Movement for Freedom in the town of Viciebsk receives refusal from local authorities to arrange a solidarity action for political prisoners.
KGB and the Police call new people for questioning, among them are Tacciana Sambalava, election agent for oppositional candidate Vital Rymaseuski from the Belarusian Christian Democracy; the 80 year-old professor Hieorhij Lepin who participated in the demonstration after the elections on December 19; Human rights defender Nasta Lojka is called to be questioned by the Military Counter Intelligence.
Young activists from the organisation of Malady Front try to spread post-cards in support of political prisoners and at the same time congratulating people on St. Valentine’s Day. Mikola Dziemidzienka, is detained for carrying political material, he’s transferred to the Police station but released after some time.