Week 35, August 16-22

August 22nd, 2011   Theme: Belarus

The Court dismisses a complaint that pre-trial restrictions, of personal freedom, are imposed on Ales Bialacki following his arrest. Polish Prosecutor General informs that a number of Polish officials are linked to the disclosure of Ales Bialacki’s bank account and that they are fired.

August 16

The executive committee in the town of Biarozauka bans a picket in support to Belarusian prisoners of conscience planned by local democratic activists. The authorities explain that the reason for the ban is that the picket may result in negative reactions by ordinary citizens.

Zmicier Daskievic, political prisoner and Chairman of the youth organisation of Malady Front(Young Front), is for the third time not allowed to meet his lawyer. A meeting was obstructed by the prison administration despite earlier promises by the regional prosecutor’s office.

The lawyer has filed a number of complaints demanding a report on Zmicier Daskievic’s health and that a meeting with his father be arranged as soon as possible. Not a single letter has been received by Zmicier Daskievic’s relatives since he was imprisoned.

Michail Karatkievic, civil activist in the town of Mazyr, is fined 105.000 Belarusian roubles (about 14 €) by the local Court for mentioning a “silent protest” in his social network account Vkontakte. According to a police report, Michail Karatkevich “re-posted an appeal to gather each Wednesday in Mazyr’s central square and by doing this he contributed to the organisation of a mass event, violating legal procedures.”

Zmicier Silcanka and Volha Padzeryna, democratic activists from the UCP Party’s youth organisation Young Democrats, are detained and sentenced to five days in prison. The activists were found guilty of posting illegal leaflets featuring the portraits of Belarusian political prisoners.

August 17

Zmicier Salaujou, human rights defender, is called to an interrogation at the Financial Investigation Department in connection with the arrest of Ales Bialacki, head of Viasna human rights organisation and vice president of the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH).

Tamara Sidarenka, a well-known Belarusian lawyer who defended oppositional candidates in a number of “mass riots” trials after the presidential elections in 2010, is disbarred by the Ministry of Justice. Earlier this year, the Belarusian Ministry of Justice disbarred several other lawyers involved in the December 19, 2010, criminal cases.

The Piersamajski District Court in the City of Minsk dismisses an appeal complaining that pre-trial restrictions, of personal freedom, are imposed on Ales Bialacki following his arrest on 4 August, 2011.
Dzmitry Karashkou, oppositional activist in Homiel, is arrested by the road police when driving home after participating in a silent protest in the main square. He was taken to the police station and later released with no charges.

August 18

Vital Huliak, civil activist, is arrested by the local police for distributing leaflets in the main square of Vaukavysk. The activist was taken to the police station, where he was forced to give written explanations and later released without charges.
The local authorities across the country ban peaceful pickets against detention of Ales Bialacki, head of Viasna and vice president of the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH). The city executive committees in Brest, Homiel, Viciebsk, Baranavicy, Mazyr and many other large cities do not permit pickets in support of the leading Belarusian human rights defender.

Polish Prosecutor General Andrzej Seremet informs during a press-conference in Warsaw that a number of Polish officials, working in the prosecutor’s office, are linked to the disclosure of Ales Bialacki’s bank account details and that they are fired.
He states that he “deeply regrets what has happened”. According to the Prosecutor General, Poland so far this year has received two requests in regards to bank accounts, the other also being linked to an opposition activist. However, the Polish Prosecutor General’s office dismissed this request.

August 19

Siarhiej Karpienka, reporter of the Belast, a Poland-based independent TV channel, faces charges for alleged usage of foul language and resisting arrest in a “silent protest” back on June 22. The reporter will stand before the Court on August 22.

August 22

The authorities continue prohibiting peaceful pickets across the country in support of Ales Bialacki. This is the case in for example Kobryn and Mahiliou.

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