Week 17, April 12-18

April 18th, 2011   Theme: Belarus

The Minsk City Court dismisses the appeal against the detention of former oppositional candidate, in the presidential election 2010, Andrej Sannikau. The authorities all around the country officially states that is is forbidden to hold any kind of peaceful action in connection to the 25th anniversary of Charnobyl nuclear disaster.

April 12

Several democratic activists are called to the KGB for interrogation in connection with the explosion in the Minsk subway station the day before. Among them are Ludmila Dzianisienka, activist of the Belarusian Left Party Fair World in the town of Brest, and Dzianis Daskievic, oppositional activist in the town of Rahacou.
Volha Lamcava, oppositional activist in the town of Homiel, is fired after taking part in the presidential election campaign for the oppositional candidate Uladzimir Niaklajeu. The administration at her work forces her to quit the job, after making her work overtime without compensation.
The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus refuses to register the youth organisation of Young Democrats which has been close to the UCP Party. Officially the Ministry explains its rejection to register this oppositional youth organisation, stating that the organization’s programme is not in accordance with Belarusian law.

April 13

Kanstancin Turcaniaka, oppositional activist in the town of Brest is called to the Police for interrogation in connection with the explosion in Minsk on April 11. She is told to come to the Police while several officers come to visit her parents.
Vasil Palakou, Chairman of the local branch of the UCP Party in the town of Homiel, stands before Court. After an initiated administrative case against him for refusing to give fingerprints when the Police tried to force him, the Court accuses Vasil Palakou of not obeying state officials, in accordance with the article 23.4 of Belarusian law. The court fine him to 875.000 Belarusian rubles (about 205 €). It’s worth noticing that the Belarusian law doesn’t contemplate any kind of punishment for refusal of giving fingerprints.
The General Prosecutor’s Office hand over to the Court the criminal cases of Siarhiej Marcaleu, Paval Sieviaryniec and Iryna Chalip who are being accused of “mass riots” after the presidential election on December 19, 2011.

April 14

The Court in the region of Mahilou dismisses the appeal against the detention of Zmicier Salaujou, oppositional activist and chairman of the local branch of the BPF Party, who was arrested on March 25, accused of swearing and not obeying the Police officers, was sentenced to five days imprisonment.
Uzhorak, independent social-political newspaper in the town of Horki, is officially warned by the Ministry of Information for its activities. According to a statement from the Ministry, the newspaper did not inform the authorities about its new chief editor (his predecessor died at the end of 2010). The Newspaper is also accused of not having UCP-code on several editions. In addition, violations in regards to the newspaper’s website is mentioned. The newspaper is popular in several towns of the Mahilou region.
Ryhor Lukjanovic, worker at the Belarusian Railway from the town of Malaryta, stands before the Court after refusing to give his fingerprints to the Police. Ryhor Lukjanovic is being accused according to article 23.4 of the Belarusian law for not obeying officials. The trial is postponed until an unknown point in time.

April 15

The Ministry of Information officially warns two of the largest independent newspapers Naša Niva and Narodnaja Vola after both papares reported about the explosion in Minsk’ subway and the following investigation. The Ministry explains that the newspapers published unreliable information about the bomb attack which could discredit state authorities or damage interests of the belarus society. Following the explosion, the state media were discrediting the opposition in connection to the explosion. No official explanation was given or evidences presented by the authorities.
The Minsk City Court dismisses the appeal against the detention of former oppositional candidate, in the presidential election 2010, Andrej Sannikau. He has been in the KGB jail since he got arrested on December 29.

April 16

President Lukashenka is interviewed about the situation in the country after the explosion in the Minsk subway. During the interview he states that he’s confident that there are many “guerillas” in the democratic opposition.
Anatol Sanacienka, independent journalist of the Internet-newspaper Babrujski Kurjer, is called to the Police for interrogation. To start with the officials try to force him to agree to be interrogated without an official explanation for that.

April 17

Jauhien Suchavierch, independent freelance journalist in the town of Maladecna, is detained by the Police during a service in memory of people killed in the explosion in Minsk. He is given a warning for participation in an unauthorised action and is released.
Alaksandr Starynkievic, chief editor of independent Internet newspaper Salidarnasc, is interrogated by the KGB in regards to the explosion on April 11.

April 18

Authorities all around the country officially states that is is forbidden to hold any kind of peaceful action in connection to the 25th anniversary of Charnobyl nuclear disaster, which severely affected Belarus.
Vital Stazarau, oppositional activist of the UCP Party and its youth organisation in Minsk, is declared a new suspect in the criminal case of “mass riots” after the presidential election in December 19, 2010. During a long time he has taken an active part in independent observation of election processes in Belarus. After the presidential election last year, he was forced to leave the country, facing detention. Previously the house of his grandmother was searched by the KGB, some material and equipments were been confiscated.
Andrej Skurko, chief editor of the largest independent newspaper Naša Niva is called to the KGB where officers warn him, reminding him of his responsibility if the newspaper publishes material of the investigation about the explosion in Minsk. It’s already the seventh meeting with the KGB during the last four months, including four searches carried out by the KGB and the Police resulting in confiscation of equipment. The KGB has also visited the paper after April 11, when the officers forced the staff to remove material they had published on the newspaper’s website. It’s worth noticing that the Naša Niva has taken a very active part in reporting about the events after the Election Day December 19, as well as the explosion in Minsk on April 11

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