Week 24, May 31-June 6

June 6th, 2011   Theme: Belarus

The authorities prohibit a peaceful picket dedicated to the economic crisis in Belarus.

May 31

Mikalaj Statkievic, former oppositional candidate from Social Democratic Party and currently political prisoner sentenced to six years imprisonment in a reinforced prison, is denied to meet his father by the administration of the KGB jail in Minsk. Radion Marinichev, correspondent of Russian TV channel Dozhd (Rain), is detained after an interview with Iryna Chalip, well known independent journalist and deported from Belarus with prohibition to enter the country for five years.

The administration of the café Dobryja Mysli in the City of Minsk cancels the presentation of a book by Uladzimir Mackievic, pro-democratic writer. Local authorities forced the café to break a deal to let out ther premises by threatening with serious problems if …

June 1

Another participant of the 19 December post-election demonstration is interrogated by the KGB. Raman (for security reasons the surname of the activist is not mentioned) has to give evidence about his participation in the demonstration on the Square. The young man is informed that this interrogation may be “connected with” the case of Anatol Labiedzka, the leader of the UCP Party who has not been convicted yet.

Raman can not describe the details of the interrogation because he was given a pre-written statement of non-disclosure. However, he explains that it was not obvious that his arrest was in connection with the the case of Anatol Labiedzka.

June 2

Dzmitry Novik, democratic activist sentenced to 3,5 year imprisonment in a reinforced prison in accordance with the criminal case of “mass riots”, informs that he is being pressured in prison. He believes that soon amnesty might be declared, and that could be the reason for the provocation, as the prison administration would like to keep him imprisoned.

June 3

The editorial board of the socio-political website ex-press.by, created by journalists of the private socio-political newspaper Kur’yer z Barysava (closed down before the 2006 presidential election), is evicted from its office. The website is very popular in the regions. Many other Internet editions use its information, knowing that its materials are credible and don’t need to be subject to additional verification. The website is visited by about 5,000 users a day.

Siarzuk Paulukievic, democratic activist in the city of Minsk, is detained by the KGB. Siarzuk Paulukievic is administrator of a group called “Luka will step down when there are 1.000.000 people on this group!”, a popular Internet community vkontakte.ru. The group was popular among Belarusians and had over 120.000 members. Approximately at 18.00 the KGB officers broke in to Siarzuk Paulukievic’s flat, detained him and immediately deleted the group from his computer. He was taken to the Police station. As far as known he was sentenced to ten days imprisonment.

June 4

Alaksandr Kuzniacou, oppositional activist in the town of Viciebsk, is called to the Commission for violations of parking rules of the Road Police. The main violation is that the activist had a white-red-white ribbon on his car, the colours of the Belarusian national flag. The Police, however, accused him of parking his car on the lawn.

June 5

The authorities of the town of Mahilou prohibit a peaceful picket dedicated to the economic crisis in Belarus initiated by the local democratic movement.

June 6

Dzmitry Niafiodau, democratic activist from the organisation of Movement Forward, stands before the Court of Zavodzki District in the City of Minsk. The acitivist is accused of swearing in accordance with article 17.1 of the Belarusian law at the time when his flat was searched by the Police. On June 3, he was taken to the Police station and sent to the jail awating his trial. The Court, however, sends the case back to the Police department for additional facts.

Riot police beat a spectator at a motorbike festival in the town of Mahilou. During the music concert a young man started waving his hands to the music. Despite the fact that the youngster didn’t do anything special, a riot policeman took it in a wrong way, and immediately hit him.

Then two more policemen came running and pulled the man into a police car. The incident was witnessed by numerous people. The youngster was kept in the car for quite a long time. According to witnesses he didn’t feel well after being released.

Ivan Stasiuk, civil activist from the town of Brest, is detained on the Belarusian-Polish border and transferred to the local KGB department. The Belarusian border guards took away Ivan’s passport and told him that the document would be returned to him after a “preventive conversation”.

According to Ivan Stasiuk, the KGB wanted him to stop his activities on the Internet – social communities. They also asked him about his trips to assemblies of the Ukrainian National Alliance and contacts with Poles and Ukrainians. They threatened to pressure his relatives and misinform his friends and acquaintances about his co-operation with the KGB.

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