Week 25, June 7-13

June 13th, 2011   Theme: Belarus

The Ministry of Justice issues a warning to the Belarusian Helsinki Committee.

June 7

The Ministry of Justice issues a warning to the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, allegedly because of “continuous violations of the tax legislation”. This is the second warning of the year.

The authorities demand that the BHC pays more than 205 millions of roubles in fines and a tax concerning the grants issued to it by the European Commission in 2002-2003, though this aid was exempt from taxes according to international agreements. Moreover, more than 30 public associations were financed by the European Commission, but taxes were imposed on just two of them.

June 8

Uladzimir Lipkovic, famous Belarusian blogger writing about pathologic situations in the Belarusian reality, is told by the State Tax Inspection to submit an asset and income declaration for 2010 together with his wife. He received a letter from the Tax Inspection Department on Monday.

According to the blogger Uladzimir Lipkovic, the Tax Inspection has the right to require filing a tax declaration, but neither he nor his wife has faced these demands before. There were many situations when the Tax Inspection pressed the oppositional and civil activists because of their activities.

Katsiaryna Yerusalimskaya, civil activist of the campaign European Belarus, is detained in the Puskinskaja underground station in Minsk.

The policemen seized her luggage at the entrance to the underground and detained her after finding the leaflets Free political prisoners! in her backpack. She is taken to the Police room at the underground station and later sent to the Frunzienski District Police department.

Several people stand before the Centralny District Court after participating in the peaceful protest Stop Petrol. Alaksandr Redzkin and Alesia Makas are fined to 525.000 belarusian roubles each (about 75€), Dzmitry Kavalhin is Rined to 700.000 belarusian roubles (about 100€).

June 9

Mikalaj Pachabau, trade chairman of the local organisation of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union of Radio Electronic Industry in the town of Barysau, is detained by the Police near the town of Smalavicy. He is driven to Minsk in his own car.

The police didn’t provide any official reasons for examining the car even though the owner asked them about it. Mikalaj Pachabau was released after a few hours.

June 10

Alaksandr Acharetny, independent journalist, is detained in the Minsk underground. According to him, the police attention was attracted not only by the T-shirt with the image of the Chechen leader Kadyrov, but also with the metal detector he was carrying in a box. He was released after 40 minutes.

June 11

Andrzej Paczobut, correspondent of Poland’s largest newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza who is currently in custody being accused of insulting the president of the Republic of Belarus, is told by the jail administration that it wass prohibited to speak Polish when he met his father, Stanislau Paczobut. Stanislau Paczobut visited his son on June 9. They spoke Polish as they normally do. The guard reprimanded them for this but they did not switch the language of their conversation. Then the jail guards stopped the meeting and asked Stanislau Paczobut to leave.

June 12

A spontaneous rally of protest against a new customs fee took place on June 12 at the border crossing point Bruzgi in the Hrodna region. The action was dispersed by the riot police with the use of tear gas and police gear. More than 100 people held hands and blocked the terminal. In the culmination moment the drivers started singing the national anthem. As a result, 22 protesters were detained and the police used tear gas against peaceful protesters.

June 13

Valiantsin Lazarenka, chairman of the Brest organisation of the Free Trade Union of Belarus and deputy chairman of the Brest local organisation of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party Hramada, receives a denial from the Brest City Executive Committee to authorise a peaceful picket against poverty and economic crisis that the organisation wanted to arrange on June 17.

The authorities recently refused to authorise a similar action which local activists intended to hold on June 11 at the local stadium. The alleged reason was that a football tournament would take place at the time of the action.

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