Week 39, September 13-19

September 19th, 2011   Theme: Belarus

The authorities offer three political prisoners to apply to President Lukashenka for pardon and, as a result, to be released from prison. The government releases 11 more political prisoners.

September 13

The authorities offer three political prisoners to apply to President Lukashenka for pardon and, as a result, to be released from prison. Among those political prisoners are Eduard Lobau, Fiodar Mirzajanau, Pavel Vinahradau and Alaksandr Franckievic. The activists have previously been offered a pardon, but declined it.
Fiodar Mirzajanau and Pavel Vinahradau were serving prison sentences of three and four years respectively for the events on December 19, 2010, in Minsk. Eduard Lobau has previously been sentenced to four years on a charge of hooliganism for an incident on the day before the presidential elections.
Zmicier Daskievic, a chairman of the youth organisation Malady Front (Young Front), who was imprisoned for two years on fabricated charges declares a hunger strike to protest against bad treatment and the conditions in prison.
A hunger-strike may be of particular danger to Zmicier Daskievic’s health since he suffers from multiple chronic illnesses. The prisoner also states that he has not received any mails, letters from his lawyer included.
Brest Civil activist Zmicier Surchaj was informed that he was trialled in his absence on August 25 and sentenced to 10 days in prison for participating in a picket in Horki. Zmicier Surchaj has received no previous notice about the trial.
Anatol Liabedzka, leader of the United Civil Party and former political prisoner, is detained in the Moscow airport Domodedovo on his way to Washington. Anatol Labedzka is accused of using a fake passport to leave Moscow. However, after a short time he is allowed to leave for the U.S.

September 14

The government releases 11 more political prisoners. Alaksandr Atroscankau, Dzmitry Bulanau, Aleh Fiedarkievic, Alaksandr Klaskouski, Mikita Lichavid, Uladzimir Loban, Alaksandr Malcanau, Fiodar Mirzajanau, Dzmitry Novik, Illja Vasilevic and Pavel Vinahradau are pardoned and released.

September 15

The Belarusian Popular Front Party is for the second time forced to leave its office by October 1. The owner of the office has informed the party that the premises will be sold.
The contract with the office owner was concluded for a period of 1 year and should be prolonged automatically if there were no complaints.
On July 26, the BPF party was officially evicted from its headquarters in Maserau Street in the city centre, despite having renting the premises since 1992. The new headquarters on Krapotkin Street was opened on August 25.

September 16

The local authorities in Baranavocy ban a picket in support of the political prisoners, planned by Ryhor Hryk, local civic activist. According to the authorities, the applicant allegedly violated Article 5 of the Law on Mass Events. However, the nature of the violation is not revealed.
September 16 is the anniversary of the disappearance of two famous oppositional figures in Belarus. Viktar Hancar, former chairman of the Central Electoral Committee, and Anatol Krasouski, famous businessman and politician, disappeared and were presumably killed in 1999. There is still no information on what happened. According to Aleh Alkajeu, former head of the pre-trial detention center No. 1, Viktar Hancar was kidnapped and shot under the order from persons close to Alaksandr Lukashenka. The Belarusian opposition still demands an investigation of the disappearances.

September 17

Homel Regional Court dismisses an appeal lodged by Mazyr driver Michas Karatkievic against a fine of 105,000 Belarusian roubles. He was punished for allegedly posting ads for a “silent protest” on his page at Vkontakte social network service. In the end of the process, the Judge recommended Michas Karatkievic to write in a notebook, instead of on the Internet.

September 19

Nina Bahinskaya, an old woman from Minsk, is arrested when marking the 20’th anniversary of the reinstatement the historic Belarusian state emblems (the Pahonia coat of arms and the white-red-white flag) staged in Minsk’s Independence Square.
Dzmitry Saucenka and Dzmitry Karaskou, local activists in Homiel, are sentenced to 15 and 3 days of administrative arrest by the Cyhunacny District Court for violating the mass events regulations. The activists admitted they had distributed leaflets, but plead not guilty of committing any crime.
Uladzimier Jaromienak and Nasta Palazanka, two famous oppositional activists of the youth organisation Malady Front (Young Front), are sentenced to administrative arrest by the Central District Court in Minsk. Uladzimier Jaromienak is sentenced to 12 days in prison, Nasta Palazanka to 11 days. Both of them are accused of violating article 23.34 of the Administrative Code (violation of procedures for organisation and conduct of mass events).
The activists are detained in downtown Minsk as they try to hang out white-red-white flags to commemorate the 20thanniversary of the reinstatement of the state symbols in 1991.

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