Week 33, August 2-7

August 7th, 2011   Theme: Belarus

Ales Bialacki, head of Viasna, the leading human rights organisation in Belarus, and Vice- President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), is detained and sent to a detention centre in Minsk.

August 2

Amnesty International argues that the Belarusian government must drop laws banning “silent protests”.

Following a series of ‘silent protests’ the authorities publish proposed amendments to laws that would require the permission from the local authorities for any gatherings carrying out “action or inaction intended as a form of public expression of socio-political attitude or as a protest.” Those found guilty of carrying out ‘inactive’ protests could be subject to 15 days administrative detention or a fine.

Ryhor Vasilevic, General Prosecutor of the Republic of Belarus, refuses to discuss violations of human rights and liberties in Belarus. The General Prosecutor answers an address of the opposition to discuss violations of civil rights and liberties in Belarus. The opposition had proposed to the General Prosecutor, the Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Piatro Miklasevic, and the Chairman of the Supreme Court, Valancin Sukala, to discuss the issues of “total violation of rights and liberties in Belarus” at a joint meeting. The address was personally signed by Anatol Labiedzka, Chairman of the UCP Party, Siarhej Kalakin, leader of the Belarusian Leftist Party Fair World, Uladzimir Niaklajeu, leader of theTell the Truth civil campaign, Alaksiej Janukievic, leader of the BPF Party, Viktar Karniajenka, Deputy Chairman of themovement For Freedom, and Vital Rymaseuski, Chairman of the organizing committee of the Belarusian Christian Democracy.

Approximately 30 people gather near the prison in the town of Horki to show their support to Zmicier Daskievic, political prisoner and leader of the youth organisation of Malady Front (Young Front). The peaceful action of solidarity ends up with harsh detentions; as a result 14 people are detained and brought to local Police department.

August 3

Vincuk Viacorka, famous oppositional politician, is interrogated by Prosecutor’s Office of the City of Minsk in connection with the explosion in Minsk underground on April 11 after making comments and interviews on the tragic events of April 11, 2011.
Computer, mobile phone and other equipment owned by Aleh Karbalevic, BPF in the town of Recyca, and earlier confiscated by the KGB, is returned in a battered state. The equipment was confiscated after the presidential electoral campaign when Aleh Karbalevic worked for democratic candidates.

The Court considers administrative cases in regards to detained participants of the solidarity action for with Zmicier Daskievic, political prisoner and leader of the youth organisation of Malady Front (Young Front). The activists were detained near his prison in Horki. They are being accused of participating in an unauthorised event and disobedience to police officers in accordance with articles 23.34 і 23.4. Five people are sentenced to ten days in jail, one to seven and one five days in jail. Two other activists are sentenced to 12 and 13 days in jail respectively. One activist is sentenced to 17 days in jail. The hearings of some of the cases are postponed to later dates.

August 4

Ales Bialacki, Head of the leading human rights organisation Viasna, the most well known human rights defender in Belarus and Vice- President of International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), is detained and sent to a detention centre in Minsk. Ales Bialacki was detained after the office of Viasna as well as his private flat were searched by KGB. His family, wife and son, were forced by KGB officers to go to the summer house which was also searched. Ales Bialacki is being accused of tax evasion after the Ministry of Justice in Lithuania officially revealed information on bank accounts of 400 politically active Belarusian citizens.

August 5

Norwegian Helsinki Committee expresses deep concern in the connection with the arrest of Ales Bialacki, head of Viasna, well-known Belarusian human rights defender and Vice- President of International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is also deeply concerned with Ales Bialacki’s detention. The Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Bjørn Engesland says: “We will demand the immediate release of our colleague and good partner Ales Bialacki by using all appropriate means we have. We have been observing the dramatic developments in Belarus since the last presidential elections the 19th of December. The Belarusian authorities, step by step, have been arresting oppositional presidential candidates, political activists, journalists, going harshly against all kind of protests, even detaining civilians who participate in the “silent” protests”. The judicial procedures have demonstrated that the defendants have not been given a fair trial”.

August 6

Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, releases a statement in regards to the detention of Ales Bialacki, Belarusian human rights activist.
The President of the European Parliament expresses his concern over the ongoing harassment on the Human Rights Center Viasnaand its head Ales Bialacki. Jerzy Buzek urges the Belarusian authorities to release the human rights activist and other political prisoners.

August 7

Tacciana Sapucka, journalist of the Novy Cač independent newspaper, is sentenced to ten days of administrative arrest by the local Court in the town of Drybin. The journalist was accused of participating in an unauthorised event: about 30 people held a peaceful action of solidarity for political prisoners in Horki. Despite the fact that Tacciana Sapucka worked as a journalist, with a journalistic accreditation, she was detained and brought to the local police department.

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