Week 29, July 5-11

July 11th, 2011   Theme: Belarus

New silent protests and harsh detentions by KGB and Police.

July 5

Andrej Kaseuski, member of the organising committee of the Belarusian Christian Democracy, is sentenced to 10 days in prison by Leninski District Court of Minsk. Andrej Kaseuski was detained on July 1 for distributing leaflets and kept at the Leninski District Police Department for 3 days. His mother was informed about it only after four days.

Siarhiej Kavalou, journalist of the independent TV channel BelSat is arrested in the corridor of the Frunzienski District Court in Minsk. The journalist was reporting on the trials of the detained participants of the July 3 silent protest action when he was approached by three KGB officers who brought him to an unknown location.

The Leninski District Court in Brest fines ten more participants of the silent protest action held in Brest on June 29. All of them are charged in accordance with article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, “participation in unauthorised mass event”.

According to human rights defender Raman Kislak, two of them plead guilty and say they are ready to pay the fines. One of them was fined 175,000 Belarusian roubles (about 25 €). Those who pleaded innocent were fined 350,000 – 420,000 Belarusian roubles (from 50 up to 60 €).

Dzmitry Us, candidate in 2010 the presidential elections, is transferred to a national prison hospital in Minsk.

July 6

People gather on the central squares of their town for another silent protest in many cities across the country. Hundreds of people gather to protest against the regime. About 1 730 people are arrested around the country, most of them sentenced to prison others are fined. During the events over 25 journalists are arrested, some of them are harshly beaten by the KGB and Police.

Aleh Surhan, civil activist from the town of Viciebsk, is sentenced to five days in prison by Kastrycnicki District Court. The activist is arrested at home by the Police and brought to Court. Aleh Surhan received his sentence after a summary trial without neither case materials nor any legal assistance. According to the Police, they received an anonymous telephone call from a man who claimed Aleh Surhan was using obscene language and nibbling sunflower seeds. Of course, Aleh Surhan didn’t manage to disprove the words of the “anonymous”.

Palina Zuraulova, journalist of the newspaper Vecherniy Grondo, is injured after being harshly beaten by the Police during a silent protest in Hrodna. The journalist felt bad during the interrogation and, therefore, was hospitalised.

Uladzimir Niapomniascych, oppositional activist from the UCP Party, is detained and fined to 350,000 Belarusian roubles (about 50 €) by the Cyhunacny District Court in Homiel. The activist was arrested when waiting at a bus stop, wearing a T-shirt with the inscriptions “19 December – Bloody Sunday!” and “Down with fascism!” Uladzimir Niapomniascych was charged according to article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, “violating the order of organizing and holding mass events”.

July 7

The KGB officers searched the flats of Jauhien Skrabiec and Siarhiej Aleksijevic, coordinators of the Revolution through social network community at the social network Vkontakte. The official reason is the explosion in the Minsk metro in April. KGB officers confiscated computer equipment and information carriers. Jauhien Skrabec was absent during the search and learned about it from a telephone call.

It’s worth noting that both activists were blocked in their apartments on July 3. However, the former managed to flee through the balcony and was detained at a protest action in the centre of the city.

Ruslan Uscimienka, participant of the silent protest in Homiel, is sentenced to 30 days in prison. The Court accused Ruslan Uscimienka of swearing.

The Belarusian Popular Front Party is ordered by court to vacate the office in Maserau Avenue, 8 in Minsk, within 7 days. The authorities threaten to use “sanctions” otherwise. However, members of the party are not going to leave the office

July 8

Anatol Labiedzka, chairman of the United Civil Party, addresses the head of the investigative bureau of the Main Police Department of the Minsk City Executive Committee, with three requests: to return his belongings, including the passport, to familiarise him with the document about the extension of the terms of the investigation into his case; and cancel the recognisance not to leave.

Policeman stopped Barys Chamajda in the street to check his bags. They apologized to the opposition member after the search and let him go.

July 9

The Minsk City Court considers cassation appeals against verdicts to the activists of the anarchist movement Ihar Alinevic, Miklaj Dziadok and Alaksandr Franckevic who has been sentenced to prison terms of various lengths of imprisonment for a number of political actions including arson. Two more convicts, didn’t file cassation appeals. Bear in mind that in May 2011 they had pleaded guilty and testified against Ihar Alinevic, Mikalaj Dziadok and Frantckevic who pleaded innocent.

The court declines appeals. Now the convicts will appeal the verdict at a higher court instance.

Siarzuk Huminski, civil activist from Orsa and student of a university in Polish, receives a letter from the military authorities which says that the activist will no longer be able to leave the country according to its decision to ban Siarzuk Huminski to travel abroad.

Barys Chamajda, oppositional activist in Viciebsk, is detained during the music festival Slavianski Bazar – where he usually distributes independent press. Radio Liberty informs that he is brought to Cyhunacny District Department of the Interior.

July 10

Belarusian judges continue to demean themselves in the eyes of the world.

Participants in the silent protests face trial in Belarus. Some of them are imprisoned for 10-30 days. Others are punished by fines. A physically handicapped man is sentenced to a fine of 1,050,000 rubles (about 150 €). The one armed man was found guilty of clapping hands in a public place, Radio Liberty informs.

July 11

Valery Klimicenka, democratic activist from the town of Maladecna, is sentenced to 15 days in prison by the local Court. The activist was detained during a silent protest on July 6 and accused in accordance with the article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offences, “violation of the rules of organizing or holding a mass event”.

Uladzimir Sulzycki, youth activist from Smarhon, is detained at a silent protest action on July 6 in Maladechna and sentenced to 15 days in prison by a local Court.

On July 11 Tacciana Sieviaryniec, mother of the political prisoner Pavel Seviaryniec, stands before the court after a weekend in jail. The court finds her guilty of organising an unauthorized procession on July 3 and fines her 700,000 Belarusian roubles (about 100€). The real reason for the detention is that the regime wants to avoid protests during the pro-regime music festival Slavianski Bazar in Viciebsk.

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