Week 23, May 24-30

May 30th, 2011   Theme: Belarus

New sentences for a number of participants of the demonstration against the falsifications of the election on December 19, 2010.

May 25

Arciom Sarkou, organiser of a Stop Petrol-2 protest action, is detained by the Minsk Police before even attending the action. Despite that the action, which serves to protest against high prices of petrol, is peaceful, the Police seals off the area and do not permit journalists to take photos. Arciom Sarkou is later released without further charges.

Brest human rights defender Raman Kisliak receives a reply to his complaint against reported use of police violence when he was forced to undergo fingerprinting examination. The Brest regional prosecutor’s office says witnesses did not confirm the use of physical force during the incident, which resulted in an arm injury. However, the medical examination results are ignored by the officials.

May 26

Andrej Molcan, Andrej Bazyn and Danila Hancarou, democratic activists of the civil campaign European Belarus, are detained and interrogated by the Maskouski Police District Department in Minsk. Earlier, the house of Andrej Moncal is searched by the Police who confiscate his sister’s computer.

The chief department of justice of Mahilou regional executive committee denied state registration to Mahiliou Center for Strategic Development Impulse, local public association, due to alleged inaccuracies in the NGO’s registration papers. However, Impulse’s founders say the decision is based on speculations that shouldn’t result in a ban.

May 27

The Leninski District Court in the city of Minsk finds seven oppositional activists guilty of mass riots. Mikola Statkevic, leader of the Social Democratic Party, is sentenced to six years in a reinforced prison. Dzmitry Us, independent oppositional candidate in the presidential elections 2010, is sentenced to 5.5 year in prison. Alaksandr Klaskouski, former Police officer who was arrested in the evening of December 19, after trying to protect people from getting harshly beaten, is sentenced to five years in a reinforced prison. In addition, a number of democratic activists are found guilty of mass riots. Alaksandr Kvitkevic is sentenced to 3.5 years imprisonment, Dzmitry Bulanau and Arciom Hrybkou is sentenced to three years imprisonment in a reinforced prison and Andrej Pazniak to two years of restriction of freedom.

Sviatlana Rudkouskaja, member of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee in Belarus, is fined 140,000 Belarusian rubles by the Hrodna City Court. According to the Police, the official reason is unlawful irresponsible acts at activist’s work.

Alaksandr Lukashenka comments on the current situation in the consumer and foreign currency markets, demanding that the government close some media, in particular all broadcasting from Russia which, according to him, have provoked the rush demand for the foreign currency. According to Lukashenka, Russian mass media are the most hysterical. He urges the parliament to: “do everything to prevent this media from being able to broadcast on our territory in the future”.

May 28

Minsk Zavodski District Court announces the verdict for the activists of the anarchist movement. Ihar Alinevic is sentenced to 8 years, Mikalai Dziadok to 4.5 years, and Alaksandr Franckievic to 3 years. They will all serve their sentences in top security colonies. Maxim Vetkin is sentenced to 4 years of restraint of liberty and Jauhen Selivonchyk – to 1.5 years of restraint of liberty.
The anarchists were accused of an unauthorized action near the Ministry of Defense in 2009, attacks on an affiliate of Belarusbank, the building of the Federation of Trade Unions, the “Shangri La” casino, the Russian Embassy and the prison in Akrestsina Lane.

Seven human rights defenders are detained at the BPF Party Minsk office, where a seminar on detention conditions was due. The detained, including Aleh Hulak, Belarusian Helsinki Committee leader, Ludmila Isakava and Alaksandr Sasnou, Belarusian human rights defenders, Olga Solomatova, Russian expert, Alla Blahaya, Vadim Pivovarov and Oleh Martynenko, Ukrainian activists, are taken to Minsk Saviecki District police department. At about 2.30 p.m. they are released without charges. However, the defenders are officially warned of possible prosecution for violation of the law.

May 29

Andrej Fralou and Jan Roman, members of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, interviews Andrzej Paczobut’s (independent journalist who is currently arrested)wife Aksana in the morning. Suddenly, guards from the Regional Prosecutor’s Office went intervenes, bringing them to the Prosecutor’s office. Jan Roman, Andrej Fralou and Aksana Paczobut spend about 40 minutes there before they are released.
Andrzei Paczobut, special correspondent of the Poland’s largest newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza in Belarus, is accused of insulting the President and of libel. He faces 2 to 4 years and is held in Hrodna detention centre since April.

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