Week 36, 23-30 August

August 30th, 2011   Theme: Belarus

The Department of Interior Affairs of the City of Minsk suspends criminal cases on “mass riots” against several oppositional activists. At the same time a number of human rights defenders get arrested across the country for support and solidarity with Viasna leader Ales Bialacki.

August 23

Astraviec District Executive Committee bans a picket of protest planned by local democratic activists against the construction of a nuclear power plant.
Alina Skrybunova and Jauhien Hlusakou, independent journalists, as well as civil activist Pavel Varasylau, are arrested by Police in Mahilou as a result of a picket in support to Ales Bialacki, chairman of Human Rights Centre Viasna who is in prison.

Local human rights defenders and civil activists distribute several hundred booklets telling about the recent developments in the Ales Bialacki case. They were taken to the local police department but released two hours later without charges.
Six activists are arrested following a picket staged in support of Ales Bialacki in downtown Minsk.

August 24

The civil campaign Tell the Truth is denied registration by the Ministry of Justice.
According to the campaign’s activists, the official reply by the Ministry of Justice referred to the applicants’ failure to provide the required papers certifying the ownership of the premises where the NGO had registered its legal address.

Adam Bialacki, son of imprisoned human rights defender Ales Bialacki, has been fined 350,000 Belarusian roubles (about 48€) by Minsk Central District Court for alleged disorderly conduct during yesterdays’ solidarity protest in central Minsk.
Adam Bialacki’s car was stopped by road police yesterday evening. He was later charged under article 17.1 of the Administrative Code.

Hrodna police searches the office of local pro-democratic activists after human rights defender Viktar Sazonau was arrested in a picket of support to Human rights Centre Viasna’s leader Ales Bialacki.
As a result of the raid sanctioned by local prosecuting authorities, the police seized two PC units, several T-shirts “Freedom to Ales Bialacki!” and a number of copies of human rights newsletters.
Viktar Sazonau was released after he was charged with illegally producing printed materials.

August 25

Zmicier Daskievic, political prisoner and Chairman of the youth organisation of Malady Front(Young Front), informs that he had been repeatedly subject to torture while serving his term in a prison in Horki, Mahilou region. According to Young Front activists, Zmicier Daskievic has also been denied access to legal assistance and experienced pressure and provocations by other prisoners.

Ruta Lankininkaite, a journalist from the Lithuanian LTV channel, is not allowed to enter the Republic of Belarus. The journalist was declared a persona non grata by the Belarusian border troops. The journalist was supposed to make a report on the current economic crisis in Belarus, however, Ruta Lankininkaite was told her visa had been cancelled, despite a valid accreditation.
A new criminal case is opened against the oppositional activists Siarzuk Siemianiuk, Ales Kalita and Maksim Hubarevic.

The criminal case is said to have been began in connection with the beating of a guard in the office centre where the new BPF office is situated. Siarzuk Siemianiuk has confirmed that an incident did take place. The drunken guard was preventing the party from conducting a meeting and the BPF activists led him out of the building, informs Radio Liberty. The guard complained to the police the next day.

August 26

Senior investigator of Minsk City Department of the Interior Affairs informs Anatol Labiedzka, Chairman of the UCP Party, that the criminal case of “mass riots” on December 19, 2010, is suspended. Anatol Labiedzka was imprisoned in the KGB detention centre after December 19, events in 2010 and spent several months there. The majority of the other opposition leaders also imprisoned in the KGB centre were convicted during the spring.

August 27

The executive authorities of Svislac (Hrodna region) and Biaroza (Brest region) ban pickets for 27 August and 24 August, in support to Viasna’sleader Ales Bialacki.

In their official reply, Svislac officials said the picket could not be held, as it would be too close to the road, which is forbidden by the Mass Events Act. Meanwhile, pro-government organisations have repeatedly held events in the location.

Biaroza authorities referred to the applicants’ failure to sign the required agreements with local police, medical and housing departments.

Mazyr Town Executive Committee bans a meeting of remembrance of Jews who killed themselves during the Nazi occupation in 1941.

August 28

Stanislau Ramanovic, resident of Minsk, is arrested by KGB as he attempts to leave flowers outside the Libyan embassy in Belarus. He was detained after asking the embassy staff for permission. He was pushed into a police bus, ordered to switch off his mobile phone and he was interrogated.
Following this Stanislau Ramanovich was taken to the police station and again interrogated. Two hours later he was released without charges.

Kastus Sytal, independent journalist in the town of Hlybokaje, is arrested by local police after the publication on www.westki.info about an incident on August 25, when the local district executive committee building was smeared with paint. He is taken to local police department and questioned.


August 29

Andrej Paluda, human rights defender from Human Rights Centre Viasna, is interrogated at the financial investigation department of the State Control Committee.

The interrogation reportedly dealt with the criminal charges brought against Viasna’s leader Ales Bialacki.

Several students of the Vilnius-based European Humanities University are interrogated across Belarus by the KGB. Interrogations have reportedly been held in Minsk, Svietlahorsk, Sluck, Homiel etc. The secret services inquire about the EHU structure.

August 30

Department of the Interior Affairs of the City of Minsk informs that several criminal cases on “mass riots” from December 19, 2010, are suspended. Among these are the cases aginst Alaksandr Arastovic, Aleh Korban, Natalia Radzina, and Uladzimir Kobiec.

Ihar Slucak, civil activist in Homiel, is detained by police and accused of swearing in a public place. The activist was supposed to meet journalists on August 27, in order to inform them about the result of his personal campaign “Paper work in Belarus” and to discuss the possibility of reforming the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to Slucak, he invited journalists from independent and governmental mass media as well as policemen.


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