Solicitor Vera Stramkouskaya addressed an appeal to the Minsk regional prosecutor’s office regarding cessation of criminal prosecution of former Minister, Deputy and Ambassador Mikhail Marynitch on all accusations brought. Mikhail Marynitch has been kept in an isolation ward since April 26. He is charged with illegitimate actions with weapons, and since September 23 - with embezzlement of the documentation claimed to be a state secret, and also with occupancy of the office equipment, transferred in temporal use to his organization “Business Initiative” without compensation. In accordance with the above-mentioned accusations, Mikhail Marynitch may be sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment.
In Berlin, in the evening of September 30, at a Bundestag regular plenary session, german deputies adopted the resolution project devised by representatives of the incumbent social-democratic fraction. The resolution comprises a range of demand of german politicians to their federal Government concerning support for democratic processes in Belarus. It is a matter of ensuring transparent and free parliamentary election, ceasing pressure on the opposition, public organizations and independent Mass Media in the country, as Radio “Liberty” reports.
A candidate for deputy from the United Civil Party Ales Karnienka failed to print pre-election leaflets in a state printing house in Gomel. Factory “Polespetchat” superior Larysa Pratasenka insisted on crossing out all mentions of Lukashenka and the referendum declared by him. Also the superior of the printing house disliked some episodes from the candidate’s program. Nevertheless, Ales Karnienka refused to introduce numerous amendments – and the superior forwent printing his agitation materials, Radio “Liberty” reports.
On September 29 the Leninski District Court of Minsk finished examining another claim, submitted by an entrepreneur Siarhiej Atroshchanka against the "Narodnaya Vola" newspaper publisher. The judge Valiancina Bortnik satisfied the claim in full and resolved to charge 776 thousand rubles (approx. 360 USD) from the publisher to cover the additional sue costs. Most of this sum is Mr. Atroshchanka attorney`s service fee for taking part in the legal investigation of the appeal against the resolution of the Leninski District Court of Minsk, regarding the article "What Business Lives Well in Belarus?", published in "Narodnaya Vola".
Prominent generals turned politicians and other opposition figures have called on the judiciary, military and law enforcement officers to strictly abide by the constitution and laws in the run-up to the elections and referendum.
Germany`s Social Democratic Party and Alliance 90/The Greens suggest that the German government should more actively support Belarus` opposition parties, independent media and non-governmental organizations in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in the country, said the press office of the German parliament on Thursday.
Janusz Onyszkevicz, European Parliament vice-speaker, who is preparing a resolution for the European Parliament on the situation in Belarus, declared in an exclusive interview to “Liberty” Radio, that, in case the election and referendum in Belarus are acknowledged non-democratic, he will come out with a proposal to acknowledge both the Belarusian Parliament and President illegitimate. “In such a situation, I will come out with a proposal to acknowledge illegitimate the structures, which will emerge after the non-democratic election and referendum. This concerns both the Parliament and President. This does not imply insulation of the Belarusians and Belarus - this relates to these structures only. We will dedicate as much time as possible to the Belarusian issue in the European Parliament, and, I hope, successfully”, - said the Vice-Speaker of the European Parliament.
The Central Electoral Committee says 30 percent of voters can vote preterm, what perturbs the OSCE observers, who are being under a gaze of unknown persons. Only 130 short-term observers are to arrive to Belarus, instead of the planned 300.
A local newspaper in Molodechno, Minsk region, on Thursday started collecting signatures of its readers to a petition urging the authorities to annul a three-month ban. Rehiyanalnaya Hazeta was suspended for three months by a September 24 order of Information Minister Vladimir Rusakevich over two warnings issued by the ministry on the same day for alleged violations of the Media Law. In particular, the ministry accused the paper, among other things, of publishing an unregistered TV guide supplement and switching to a weekly publication schedule without notification.
Belarusian Students’ Association Board Member has been expelled from Belarusian State Agricultural-Technical University (BSATU). The story dates back to this year spring when KGB people visited the dean’s office of the Department where Siarzhuk studied, and tried to make him speak about International and Human Rights activity of BSA. After Siarzhuk refused to contact with the secret service, he received unsatisfactory mark at one of the exams. At the moment the examiner refuses to take the exam. The Dean office denied Siarzhuk’s request to pass an exam to a commission.
On September 28 Maskowski court of Minsk ruled to fine Siarzhuk Semianiuk and Yury Sidun for participation in the Homeless Students March. On September 16 the police detained 3 members of Belarusian Students Association: Siarzhuk Semianiuk, member of the BSA Council, Yury Sidun, and Ales Vasilewski. They were reported for violation of Art 166 of the Code of Administrative Offences: resistance to police during detention. The trials started on September 17, but all three demanded a lawyer, and the hearings were postponed to September 28.
Longin Pastusiak, chairman of Poland`s Senate (upper parliamentary chamber), in his letter to his Belarusian counterpart, Gennady Novitsky, has urged the Belarusian authorities to treat equally all nationalities in the country`s parliamentary campaign, according to the Polish Press Agency (PPA).
Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, held a session of the Security Council, at which he presented the plan regarding the defensive ability of the country to repulse possible aggression. The date of the session coincided with two other events - the start of the national military exercise in Belarus "The Shield of the Fatherland 2004" and the refusal of Europe and the USA to grant visas to four top officials of Belarus. These circumstances became the base of the emotional drive in Lukashenko`s speech. It was only the president who spoke at the session, other members were all silent. Lukashenko`s speech was rather hysterical at times.
The European Union believes that Aleksandr Lukashenko had no grounds to allege that Western countries were plotting an assassination attempt on him, Cypriot MP Christos Pourgourides, the author of a report to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on Belarus` high-profile disappearances, said in an interview with the Belarusian Service of RFE/RL on September 29.
Authorities in Belarus say they are drawing up a retaliatory travel ban on U.S. and European Union officials, after four Belarusian officials suspected of involvement in the disappearances of opposition leaders were denied visas to travel abroad this week.
On September 29 CEC members without the right to vote (representatives of UCP, BPF, CPB, and BSDP “NH” political parties) held a press conference in the office of United Civic Party. They reviewed candidates’ registration procedure and emphasized numerous drawbacks in the work of district election commissions.
The U.S. decision to impose sanctions against Belvneshpromservice company is counterproductive and will not promote trust between the two countries, said Belarussian Foreign Ministry press secretary Andrei Savinykh.
Maskowski borough administration refused to lease halls for public worships to Minsk “New Life” and the “Church of Jesus Christ” Churches (Association of Churches of Full Gospel Christians), as well as “The New Testament” and “Hope of Deliverance” Churches (Union of Evangelical Faith Christians). The official reason for refusal was that the religious communities “fail to provide sufficient measures for establishing post-control regime in churches, public security, and medical services”. Until this time the believers gathered in 2 buildings in the center of the city. The rejection document was signed by head of Maskowski borough administration Ya. M. Dukar and executive administrator N. U. Bazhenaw.
A district police officer in Brest is facing a robbery charge for mugging a woman at a bus stop while drunk. The police captain, 25, being in a state of intoxication, openly took a purse with cash away from a 42-year-old woman sales assistant, the press office of the interior ministry`s security department told BelaPAN.