Week 45, October 24-31

October 31st, 2011   Theme: Belarus

Once again the Belarus authorities are arresting and sentencing individuals to administrative arrest.

October 24

Aliaksandr Tarnahurski, democratic activist from Dziarzhynsk, is fined 175 000 Belarusian roubles (about 14€) by the Dziarzhynsk District Court following a search at the activist’s flat on October 22. He is charged with involvement in an illegal picket staged in the town back on September 8.

Aliaksandr Strachuk , oppositional activist from the Belarusian Popular Front Party in Kobryn, is interrogated by the local police. The interrogation reportedly deals with a criminal case initiated after an attempt of arson at a Court building in Minsk on May 14, the same day that former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikau was convicted.

October 25

Six persons are detained during the third daily rally in the Kastrychnitskaya Square, Minsk, in solidarity with political prisoners.
Among the detainees are: Ales Saldatsenka, Aleh Rahouski, Aleh Rachkouski, democratic activists from the oppositional movement European Belarus.
Leu Marholin, Deputy Head of the United Civil Party, is arrested on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. He was heading from Minsk to Vilnius for a number of meetings. Leu Marholin was driving his own car. His passport was seized and the border guards searched his car.

October 26

Anatol Liabedzka, Chairman of the United Civil Party of Belarus, says that he intends to sue the KGB for failure to return his passport seized during a search on December 19, 2010. KGB investigators have repeatedly ignored Anatol Liabedzka’s written requests to return the passport.
A picket of solidarity with political prisoners is organized by European Belarusin Minsk Kastrychnitskaya Square; at least four protesters are detained by Police and KGB agents. The detention of Siarhei Luchkou, Mikita Kavalenka and Aliaksandr Vialitchanka was particularly violent. Another detainee is Andrei Kabanau.

October 27

The Justice Committee of the Minsk City Council refuses to register the Minsk local branch of the oppositional movement For Freedom.
The authorities explain that the three members who signed the application for registration and the three members empowered to represent the organisation were not the same individuals.
For Freedom will appeal the decision claiming that the registration “do not violate the Law on Public Associations and the instruction of the Ministry of Justice on executing and considering documents relating to state registration of public organisations”.
Minsk Leninski District Court sentence Mikita Kavalenka and Siarhei Luchkou are sentenced to ten days of administrative arrest each, Aliaksandr Vialitchanka – 15 days of arrest, for taking part in the solidarity picket for political prisoners on Minsk’s Kastrychnitskaya Square.
The detained businessman Andrei Kabanau is released without charges after he was taken to hospital with high blood pressure.
Aliaksandr Malchanau, democratic activist and former political prisoner following the presidential election 2010, is sentenced to ten days of administrative arrest for alleged resisting arrest. He was detained while returning home in his car at midnight. His car was blocked by police cars. He was thrown down to the ground and told that a search would take place. As a result, a computer was seized. Before the trial Aliaksandr Malchanau was harassed at several occasions, including a search of his apartment on suspicion of weapons possession.

October 28

Ivan Bedka, leader of the Belarusian Christian Democracy in Slonim, is fined 1,400,000 Belarusian roubles (about 112€) for organizing the People’s Assembly on October 8. He is charged under Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code and is found guilty by the Slonim District Court.
Democratic activists Aleh Rahouski, Aleh Rakhouski and Aliaksandr Saldatsenka are each sentenced to seven days in prison.
Another democratic activist Siarhei Kazakou is sentenced to ten days of imprisonment. Halina Paddubko is fined 700,000 Belarusian roubles (about 56€).
Iryna Yaskevich and Tatsiana Seviarynets, oppositional activists in Vitsebsk, face charges for illegally organizing a People’s Assembly in Vitsebsk on October 8.
Igor Karmazin, reporter of the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets, is deported from Belarus after arranging a number of interviews with former Belarusian political prisoners and their families, including Mikita Likhavid and Iryna Khalip, reports European Radio for a Belarus. The journalist was detained and forced to erase all recorded tapes. In addition he was handed a document stating that he is not allowed to enter Belarus for a year.
Henadz Fiadynich, leader of the Trade Union of Radio Electronic Industry, is fined 1,400,000 Belarusian roubles (about 112€) for organizing a People’s Assembly on October 8. He was detained during the morning hours at Minsk airport while boarding a plane to Prague. Henadz Fiadynich was taken to Savetski District Court, which found him guilty of violating procedures for holding a mass event.
Illia Mironau, democratic activist, is sentenced to ten days of administrative arrest by the Homel Savetski District Court for organizing a People’s Assemblyscheduled for November 12. Illia Mironau is convicted under article 23.34 of the Administrative Code. The verdict is based on testimonies of unknown women who reportedly saw the activist distributing leaflets.

October 29

Uladzimir Shantsau, Chairman of the United Civil Party’s local branch in Mahiliou, is interrogated by the local Police department in connection with arrangements for the People’s Assemblyon October 8.

October 30

Uladzimir Lemesh, activist of the European Belarusopposition movement, is interrogated by the local police in the criminal case initiated following an attack on the House of Justice in Minsk May 14.

October 31

Former political prisoner Aliaksandr Malchanau and his friend Andrei Nikalayeuski are charged with disrespect to official state symbols (Article 370 of the Criminal Code). They are accused of staining several state flags with paint, in the centre of Barysau on October 26. They might be sentenced to correctional labour, a fine, an arrest or imprisonment for up to one year.
Aliaksandr Malchanau was detained in the evening of 26 October, his apartment was searched, and on the following day he was sentenced to ten days of arrest for alleged resisting detention. On the same day, his residence was searched once again. The apartment of his friend Andrei Nikalayeuski was also searched twice.
During the afternoon several activists are convicted for disorderly conduct, including Right Alliance member Yury Karetnikau (sentenced to ten days of administrative arrest) and European Belarus activist Mikhail Yermaliuk (five days administrative arrest). Another European Belarus activist Siarhei Savin is sentenced to seven days of arrest on similar charges.
Two youth activists are convicted at another Minsk Court: Yulia Stsiapanava has to pay a fine of 1,050,000 Belarusian roubles (about 84€); Volha Bandarenka is sentenced to ten days of administrative arrest.

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