Week 20, May 3-9

May 9th, 2011   Theme: Belarus

The Police disrupt a press-conference organised by the organisation for human rights Viasna. New sentences for a number of participants of the demonstration against the falsifications of the election on December 19, 2010.

May 4

Alik Mtsakanian and Viktoriya Gromava, human rights defenders from Russia, are deported from Belarus and banned to enter the country for at least two years.

The Police disrupt a press-conference organised by the organisation for human rights Viasna. The organisation was supposed to announce its report on the events after the presidential elections on December 19, 2010. 20 minutes before the event was expected to start Policemen tried to get into the apartment, referring to a “operative operation” about explosives. Having entered the office, the Police prohibited the people present to move, collected their passports of some of them and detained the Russian citizens Irina Paykachova, Viktoria Gromova and Lubov Zakharova and the Ukrainian citizen Vladimir Chemeris. The participants were detained and brought to the Police station of the Piersamajski District where they were kept until late evening. Six foreign human rights defenders were are among detained. After the Police forced the activists to explain what was going on, they were released.

The authorities in the town of Polack send a letter to the local households stating that they will no longer be able to subscribe to the two largest independent newspapers in Belarus, Narodnaja Vola and Naša Niva. The authorities cancelled subscriptions, informing the subscribers those newspapers doesn’t exist anymore. Both Narodnaja Vola and Naša Niva are two authorised newspapers in Belarus.

The Superior Economic Court of Belarus dismisses the appeal from the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) to abolish the unlawful and unjustified decision by the authorities to cancel the rent of the party’s office in the centre of Minsk, which may lead to the closure of the BPF Party.

The local authorities in the town of Viciebsk ban a street action of (motor) cyclist. The participants intended to gather close to the City Hall and to drive along the Lenin Street in order to propagate for the construction of bicycle paths in town. However, the Road Police interfered with their plans and stated that in case the manifestation was initiated it would be considered as an unauthorized street action.

As a result, the activists gathered in the Peramoha Square, from where the bicyclists started out in small groups. However, in Prauda and Smalenskaya Street and in Frunze Avenue they were approached by policemen who advised them to retreat to a certain location where the action would not be noticed by many. Though, also at this site the activists were ordered to disperse shortly after arriving.

May 5

New sentences for a number of participants of the demonstration against the falsifications of the election on December 19, 2010: the Kastrycnitski District Court in the city of Minsk found six activists guilty; among them Dzmitry Drozd, Uladzimir Chamicenka, Ales Kirkievic, Andrej Pratasenia and Pavel Vinahradau. Ales Kirkievic, Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the local branch of the youth organisation of Young Front, together with former activist of the European Belarus movement campaign and currently activist of civil campaign Tell the Truth!, was sentenced to four years of imprisonment. Dzmitry Drozd, members of Andrej Sannikau’s electoral team and the non-partisan Uladzimir Chamicenka and Andrej Pratasenia were each sentenced to three years of imprisonment.

Volha Klaskouskaya was violently taken out of her house, in handcuffs, during the night and beaten by the Police in Minsk. The police hit her over the ear and tore her blouse when she tried to defend herself. She was taken barefooted to the Leninski District Police Department of Minsk and was kept there until morning. Her relatives managed to pass her proper clothes and shoes only in the morning. Volha Klaskouskaya is a famous independent journalist and the younger sister of a KGB prisoner, former policeman Aliaksandr Klaskouski who attended the post-election protests on December 19, 2010, in his police uniform and tried to stop the police from beating participants. Volha Klaskouskaya lived in Sweden for several years. However, two and a half weeks ago she returned to Belarus (losing the status of political refugee) in order to support her brother and his family (wife and three children). Her mother Liudmila and 9-year-old daughter Miraslava returned to Belarus with her.

Arciom Sarkou, organiser of the peaceful action of Stop Petrol-2, is fined by the Leninski District Court of the city of Minsk to 1.050.000 Belarusian roubles (about 245 €) in accordance with the Article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offences; “violation of the order of organising and holding mass events or pickets”. The action took place on April 28, at numerous gas stations all over Belarus. Afterwards, Arciom Sarkou was detained by the police and transferred to the Leninski District Police Department of Minsk He was released after an hour without being charged.

The trial of Arciom Prakapenka, Pavel Syramalotau and Jauhien Vaskovic, who are charged with arson of the Babrujsk KGB department, started at 10.30 a.m. on 5 March. They are charged under Article 339, part 2 of the Criminal Code, “malignant hooliganism”, which envisages 7-12 years of imprisonment. Jauhien Vaskovicc, a journalist with the independent local newspaper Babrujski Kurjer, was detained on January 17, in Mahiliou. The arson took place in the night between October 16 and 17, 2010 in Babruisk. At first the police detained an activist of the anarchist movement Siarhei Sliusar and searched his apartment. However, later he was released because the investigation failed to establish his relation to the assault.

Tacciana Sieviaryniec, mother to Paval Sievaryniec, one of the leaders of the Belarusian Chrictian Democracy, who is in custody in accordance with the criminal case of “mass riots”, is violently treated by the Policemen during the trial of oppositional activists in the Frunzienski District Court. Tacciana Sieviaryniec came to the court carrying a small ribbon of the national colours white-red-white. During the process the Police attacked her and forced her to take off the ribbon.

May 6

Jaraslau Biernikovic, democratic activist from Hlybokaje, who was previously accused of violating the law about arranging mass authorized events, is fined to 700.000 Belarusian roubles (about 162€). The Police opened an administrative case against the activist.

The Brest Board of Justice refused to register the Baranavichy civil association of Ukrainians Kabzar. On May 5, the Chairman of the Kabzar’s organizing committee, Mikalai Charanavus, received a letter, signed by S.Kalinouski, chairman of the National Board. According to the letter, the organization cannot be registered due to the lack of a legal address. As we have already informed, on 8 April the communal Unitarian repairs and exploitation enterprise of Baranavichy suddenly revoked its guarantee letter of 21 March 2011 according to which it had undertaken to lend premises to the public association.

May 7

During the trial of former oppositional presidential candidates Uladzimir Niaklajeu and Vital Rymaseuski, Alaksandr Fiaduta – an associate of Nyaklyaeu and famous political analyst –fell ill. Earlier, he was released from the KGB jail on his own recognizance. Fiaduta was taken from the courtroom in an ambulance.

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