Training for Belarus Youth

February 28th, 2011   Belarus | Education

The Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation organized a seminar for Belarusian Youth. The seminar was the second of two in a series targeting young trainers. At the seminar, the participants practiced using structure in their training sessions and to be in charge of different sorts of exercises.

Since the first seminar, arranged last summer, the young politicians have managed trainings in their respective organizations and a section of the seminar was spent discussing experience gained from these sessions.

In connection with this second seminar, a new group attended their first seminar.

Vasil Parfiankou, a member of the campaign team of former presidential candidate Uladzimir Niakliajeu (Tell the Truth), was on January 17, sentenced to four years of imprisonment. He was accused of committing a crime under Par. 2 Art. 293 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus, mass riot. In addition he was fined almost $5,000 for damaging state property, I.e. broken glass of a Governments building in the Independence Square, during the protests following the presidential election December 19, 2010.

Vasil Parfenkov partially admitted his guilt. When asked by the Court why he took part in the demonstration, Vasily Parfenkov answered: “To express my disagreement with the official voting results”. (more…)

Waived Fee for Visa to Estonia

February 7th, 2011   Articles | Belarus

The Estonian government has decided to waive the fee for Belarusian citizens applying for visas to Estonia. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated in a press release that this will facilitate travel to European Union nations  “which will help Belarus strengthen its civil society and get experiences from the European Union.” Other states that previously made similar decisions – abolishing the visa fee for Belarusian citizens – are Poland and Latvia. (more…)

Christian Holm, MP for the Moderate Party, Chairman of the Parliamentary Belarus Network and a member of the JHS board is traveling with Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt to Warsaw to attend the international donors’ conference, “Solidarity with Belarus”. 

“Sweden is prepared to increase support to the Belarusian civil society,” reads the title of a press release that the State Department published prior to Carl Bildt’s visit to Poland on February 2, 2011. In addition to Christian Holm, Robert Hårdh, Civil Rights Defenders, is part of the Swedish delegation.

“I expect that the meeting will recognize enhanced measures to support the civil society in Belarus” says Mr. Bildt. “Including the support to various volunteer organizations, media, aa well as the Swedish political foundations working for the democratization process in Belarus.”

Two of the authors of the book Diaries of Dissidents, issued by the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation in December 2010, are among those Belarusian citizens who are at risk of longer prison terms – accused of taking part in the protests following the elections on December 19, 2010.

The list of those at risk being sentenced to longer prison terms for their involvement in the protests will most certainly continue to grow.

Among the accused are the authors Zmitser Dashkevich, leader of the organization Young Front and Anatol Liabedzka, President of the Foundation’s sister party UCP. Among the accused are also a number of presidential candidates and their close associates, as well as several journalists.

At the same time reports are emerging in Belarus about a conspiracy: Poland and Germany should have been involved in a coup d’état, and also the Swedish ambassador in Minsk.

– Sure, sure, writes Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on his blog.

For more information about events in Belarus please go to the human rights organization Viasna’s website.

Read more news on the homepage of Viasna

A large number of people in the two Belarusian Cooperation parties of the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation have been arrested in connection with protests organized by the democratic opposition following Sunday’s elections. Party leader of the UCP, Anatol Liabedzka was arrested when his apartment was stormed during the night between Sunday and Monday.

Meanwhile, Ryhor Kastusiou, presidential candidate from the Foundation’s other cooperation partner, BPF, was also arrested. An estimated total of 10.000-20.000 people participated in demonstrations and at least 600 people were arrested. (more…)

 

A collection of 15 diaries from a Belarusian Prison, written by political dissidents. Foreword by Vytautas Landsbergis.

Read the book

Diaries of dissidents – Daily Routines in a Belarusian prison was presented to a Swedish audience on December 7, 2010. The next day the book was presented in Swedish Parliament by the Parliamentary Belarusian network as host. The book is written by 15 Belarusian in opposition to the regime. They all kept a diary during their time in jail – so called “administrative arrest” which most of the time last for 10-15 days. This is a recurrent penalty imposed for everything from “swearing” to waiving the Belarusian white-red-white flag.

Stanislau Bohdanovich and Andrei Sarotnik told the audience what it is like to live and act politically in a dictatorship. “I was in the square [opposition protests after the 2006 election through the camp on October Square in Minsk] and arrested” said Stanislau Bohdanovich. He and others said that there were many hundreds of democratic activists who were sentenced to administrative arrest. (more…)

On May 7, 2010 the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation arranged Spring School, i.e. a youth conference on ideology based on the book “Principles for a free society” by Dr. Nigel Ashford. The participants came from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia and Sweden. The conference took place on the island of Muskö in the Stockholm Archipelago.

Dr. Nigel Ashford spoke on the subject of freedom and democracy. Guest speakers from the Moderate Party ran sessions based on further chapters in Dr. Ashford’s book. Gustav Blix and Walburga Habsburg Douglas, both Members of Parliament from the Moderate Party, spoke with reference to globalization and the Eastern Partnership.

The participants were very engaged in the discussions – topics ranging from tolerance and human rights to free enterprise – and were also in charge of presentations of the political situation in their own countries. The participants agreed that they learned a lot from the classes at the conference, and expressed appreciation regarding the possibility to make friends with people from the other countries.

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November 30th, -0001   Belarus | Theme: Belarus

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