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Politics and News from Belarus - Charter'97


Struggle Against Pyotr Masherau’s Memory
16:26, 01/06/2005, photo by

Renaming of the main avenues and streets of Minsk by Belarusian authorities has caused protest in Belarusian society. Protest rallies with demands to return names of Frantsysk Skaryna and Pyotr Masherau (Masherov) had started in the center of Minsk. The protest was faced by harsh reaction of Minsk riot police. People with portraits of famous Belarusians are driven away from the streets of the city brutally. On May 30 SWAT policemen arrested the famous human rights activist, leader of the civil initiative “Veterans for democracy”, leader of the “Free Belarus” Valery Schukin. While disbanding the rally, Belarusian policemen tore the portraits of the former Head of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic, Pyotr Masherau, in the sight of the veterans. Until recently Lukashenka had publicly admired this personality and boasted of being confidant to his family. Today Belarusian dictator deprives the main avenue of his name, and policemen arrest veterans with portraits of Masherau, and tear the portraits defiantly…


BHC Left In Peace?
16:55, 01/06/2005

Today the of the Supreme Economic Court of Belarus has dismissed the cassational appeal of the inspection of Taxes and Duties Ministry and upheld the decision of the economic court of Minsk, by which the legality of actions of the Republican public association “Belarusian Helsinki Committee” in the framework of the program of the EU technical support to Belarus (TACIS).

“Zubr” and “Mlodzi Demokraci” will act together
16:53, 01/06/2005

Belarusian movement Zubr and Polish organization Mlodzi Demokraci (Young democrats) came to agreement about united actions.

Iryna Krasouskaya Takes Part in Session of UN Working Group Against Forcible Abductions
16:46, 01/06/2005

In the end of May, during the Week against forcible detentions, the leader of the civil initiative “We remember”, member of the Council of Civil Initiatives “Free Belarus” Iryna Krasouskaya, has taken part in the field session of the UN Working Group Against Forcible Abductions. The 75th session of the working group has become the first field meeting, which took place in Asia and in head offices in Geneva and New York.

U.S. Embassy Press Statement on Sentencing of Statkevich And Severinets
16:39, 01/06/2005

The Embassy of the United States of America expresses its grave concern over the May 31 conviction and sentencing of Nikolay Statkevich and Pavel Severinets to three years of restricted freedom and corrective labor. Both individuals were already convicted and served jail terms for their participation in the protests which followed last October`s deeply flawed election and referendum.

Rolandas Pavilionis Condemns Verdict to Belarusian Oppositionists
16:29, 01/06/2005

Member of the European Parliament Prof. Rolandas Pavilionis protests against exceedingly cruel verdict to opposition leaders Mikola Statkevich and Paval Sevyarynets, passed by Belarusian court yesterday, and calls it “the steps taken by the authoritarian Belarusian regime aiming to destroy the political opposition before the presidential elections planned for 2006”.

Party structures could be liquidated before June 6
16:21, 01/06/2005

The term of re-registration of party structures from living quarters has ended today. As said by Justice Minister of Belarus Viktar Halavanau at a press conference, before June 6 all branches of parties and public associations which failed to transfer their offices from living quarters to commercial and industrial premises would be liquidated.

Nevzlin: Khodorkovsky Verdict Places Putin Alongside With Post-Soviet Dictators’ Ragtag
13:45, 01/06/2005

The largest shareholder of Group Menatep Leonid Nevzlin in his interview to told that verdict to Platon Lebedev and Mikhail khodorkovsky places Vladimir Putin in line with post-Soviet dictators despised in the West. “I think that it is unjust, illegal, cruel verdict to Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev is a sign of weakness, not of strength. And it is the beginning of the end for Putin,” Nevzlin said. “Firstly, now it is clear that the democracy is ruined by them. No freedom of press exists now, every court has become “Basmannyj” or “Meschanskiy”, and any political opponents must stay in prison. All characteristics of dictatorship are present, and Putin has put his name alongside with Lukashneka, Islam Karimov and other Post-Soviet dictators’ ragtag”.

7th Day of Hunger Strike of Youth in Zhodzina
12:56, 01/06/2005, photo by

In Zhodzina the hunger strike against expelling of democratic youth from educational institutions continues for the 7th day. The protest started on May 25. Six young people are taking part in the protest: Zmitser Chartkou, Alyaksandr Vinahradau, Yauhen Vaukavets, Syarzhuk Murashka, Paval Karaniukhin and Syarzhuk Marchyk.

Freedom to political prisoners!
12:17, 01/06/2005

The movement Zubr protests against a cynical verdict to leaders of the Belarus opposition.

17th Day of Syarhei Skrabets’ Hunger Strike. His Brother Released
12:13, 01/06/2005

One of the Belarusian opposition activists, former MP and the head of a deputy group “Respublika” Syarhei Skrabets continues a hunger strike in prison for the 17th day, told the lawyer of the former deputy, Mikhail Khomich, to Radio Svaboda. He also told that Alyaksandr Skrabets, younger brother of Syarhei, was released on May 31 with a written undertaking not to leave the place.

Police attempt to search apartment of founder of weekly Zhoda
12:01, 01/06/2005

An officer of Minsk’s Partizansky district police department visited the apartment of the founder of the newspaper Zhoda on Monday night in an attempt to search it for documents.

Belarusian Helsinki Committee decries conviction of Statkevich, Severinets
11:57, 01/06/2005

The Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC) has condemned harsh sentences handed down to prominent opposition figures Nikolai Statkevich and Pavel Severinets on May 31. The politicians were sentenced to three years of “restricted freedom” for staging a series of demonstrations against the official results of last October’s parliamentary elections and national referendum marred by massive fraud allegations. They will have their terms shortened by a year under the amnesty law that took effect earlier this month.

Journalism students collecting signatures against what they regard as politically motivated expulsion
11:55, 01/06/2005

Students at the journalism faculty of Belarusian State University collected signatures to an appeal against what they view as politically motivated expulsion of 3rd year student Olga Klaskovskaya, a political correspondent of the embattled private newspaper Narodnaya Volya.

Lukashenko receives Vladimir Zhirinovsky
11:52, 01/06/2005

Belarusian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko on May 31 received Vladimir Zhirinovsky, vice speaker of the State Duma (lower chamber of Russia`s federal parliament) and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR).

Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian student associations pledge aid to Belarus’ pro-democracy youths
11:49, 01/06/2005

Student organizations of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine are ready to help Belarus’ youths in their efforts to promote democracy, Oleh Yatsenko, leader of Ukraine’s Students’ Brotherhood (Studentske Bratstvo), told reporters in Kyiv on Monday.

Syarhei Kalyakin: “Repressions to Affect All Contenders For Presidency”
11:43, 01/06/2005

“It was an entirely unjust ruling, and a completely illegal one. It is an attempt to remove from the political arena the people who really work and struggle with the existing dictator’s regime. It is an attempt to intimidate people who want changes. The ruling has been passed to preserve the level of fear in the society. A brutal clear-up of political field is carried out. But the actions of the authorities are rather revealing the weakness of the authorities and its fear facing the inevitability of changes,” told the chairman of the Belarusian Communist Party, one of the possible single candidates of democratic forces, Syarhei Kalyakin, commenting on the verdict to Belarusian opposition leaders Mikola Statkevich and Paval Sevyarynets, who had been sentenced to three years of corrective labour for organizing opposition protest rallies. According to the politician, the ruling to Mikola Statkevich, who had been nominated as a candidate for presidency by the Belarusian Social Democratic party (Narodnaya Hramada) and the European coalition, could show that in this or that way the repressions are to concern every one who state their intention to participate in the elections as presidential runner.

“Number of Political Prisoners in Belarus Doubled”
11:40, 01/06/2005

“Within a short period of time the number of political prisoners in Belarus has doubled. Now they are Mikhail Marynich, Valery Levaneuski, Alyaksandr Vasilyeu, Yuri Bandazheuski, Andrei Klimov, Syarhei Skrabets, Mikola Statkevich and Paval Sevyarynets. But this awful verdict, this another attempt to intimidate the Belarusian nation, would lead to opposite effect. This shocking verdict to Belarusian opposition leaders would demonstrate the whole world that a cruel dictatorship exists in the center of Europe in the 21st century, and that one should struggle against it uncompromisingly,” told the coordinator of the civil initiative “Freedom to political prisoners!”, member of the “Free Belarus” Pavel Marynich, commenting on the verdict to Mikola Statkevich and Paval Sevyarynets.

Statement of Human Rights Center Viasna
11:02, 01/06/2005

On 31 May Minsk Tsentralny Borough Court issued the accusative sentence on the criminal case against the oppositional activists Paviel Sieviaryniets and Mikalai Statkievich. According to the court verdict, both politicians were sentenced to three years of jail. Human Rights Center Viasna expresses its decisive protest against the continuation of political repressions in the country and considers the issued sentence illegal and politically motivated. The accusative sentence was another bright evidence of the absence of independent court system in the Republic of Belarus, where the authorities fulfill repressive functions in Lukashenka’s authoritarian regime instead of rendering justice and defending the rights of citizens.

International League for Human Rights – letter to Lukashenko
11:01, 01/06/2005

President Lukashenko, the International League for Human Rights, an international non-governmental organization with special consultative status at United Nations Economic and Social Council, expresses profound concern about the latest attack on the pro-democracy movement in Belarus after the trial and sentencing of two opposition leaders in Minsk.

MEPs call for EU to fund Belarus opposition
10:59, 01/06/2005, By Andrew Rettman, Euobserver

A group of Polish and Lithuanian MEPs is pushing for a tougher EU line on Minsk, with proposals to deepen the diplomatic isolation of president Alexander Lukashenko`s regime and for the EU to support pro-democracy movements in the country. Six centre-right MEPs along with several Belarusian, Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian and Ukrainian politicians issued the call during an EPP-ED group-sponsored conference in Bialowieza, eastern Poland, on May, 29.

Not calling for a revolution
10:52, 01/06/2005

The Bialowieza Declaration MEPs aim to use as a statement to form the basis of a new European Parliament resolution at the next plenary in Strasbourg.

Reaction subdued
10:52, 01/06/2005

The European Commission gave a muted reaction to the MEPs` appeal, saying the EU`s existing common position already covers much of the same ground, and noting that the independent media project has been kicked around in Brussels for some time.

Color revolutions and greater Europe
10:51, 01/06/2005, Alexei Arbatov for RIA Novosti

The West clearly demands that Belarus should be freed of what it calls the last dictatorship in Europe. I am afraid that Russia-West confrontation in this area could end in a head-on clash. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko is not former Ukrainian leader Leonid Kuchma: He will suppress the slightest sign of protest, especially by young people. The West may intervene by providing help to the protesters, forcing Lukashenko to seek assistance from Russia, and the Kremlin will be hard put to deny it. After the defeat in Ukraine, Belarus has become doubly important to it for communications, defense and access to the Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad. Belarus is very nearly the last ally of Russia in the former Soviet Union.

China, Belarus to boost military ties
10:50, 01/06/2005, Xinhua

Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan told his Belarus counterpart Leonid Semeonovich Maltsev Tuesday that the Chinese armed forces are ready to enhance friendly, cooperative, multi-level ties with the Belarus army in various fields.

Riot Police Against Frantsysk Skaryna
10:45, 01/06/2005

Another rally against renaming Skaryna avenue was stopped by riot policemen yesterday In the evening of May 31 about 25 people lined up along the avenue by the building of the National Bank with the portraits of the first printer. Among the participants were chairman of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka, leader of the Belarusian Popular Front Party Vintsuk Vyachorka, the head of the human rights center “Viasna” Ales Bialatski. In five minutes SWAT policemen arrived in two buses, and started to squeeze the forced the protesters away from the avenue. Policemen led the activists to the Kirov and Kamsamolskaya Streets by Dinamo stadium, and after that the protesters took away the portraits of Skaryna and disbanded. On Monday riot policemen tore the portraits of Pyotr Masherau while detaining human rights watchdog Valery Schukin, and this time they tore a portrait of Skaryna.

Andrei Sannikov: Energy cooperation of Belarus with Europe broken down due to repressions against opposition • 14:59, 25/09/2007
President of PACE: «Dialog with Belarus is impossible without discharge of political prisoners» • 12:32, 25/09/2007
Authorities responsible for arrests on European March’s Eve • 17:56, 24/09/2007
Festival in Lutsk: Belarusians having right to freedom (Photo) • 11:48, 24/09/2007
Natallia Pyatkevich‘s reply to opposition? • 18:11, 21/09/2007
Aliaksandr Milinkevich invited European Leaders to the European March • 15:35, 21/09/2007
First steps must be taken by Belarusian authorities • 12:09, 21/09/2007
Official Minsk against Nuclear Weapons • 19:08, 20/09/2007
Georgia supporting Belarus in its “battle” with Russia • 13:58, 20/09/2007
Well-known public figures of Belarus insisting on dialogue • 19:15, 19/09/2007
Lukashenka Nationalizes Word "Belarusian"
11:37, 01/06/2005


Rumours about Chernobyl Accident Spread By Belarusian Met Office – Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry
13:12, 01/06/2005

David Zhvania, Ukrainian Minister for management of emergencies, told that the report of the Belarusian Meteorological Office was the grounds for spreading rumours about malfunction at Chernobyl atomic power station. “The first information was given by the Meteorological Office of Belarus. It has announced that very warm air is moving from the territory of Ukraine, and most probably it means some troubles at Chernobyl atomic power station. Later they corrected themselves that it is Rivno atomic power station, and they are trying to sort out the information. Later this information was caught up by others,” he told during the hot line in the Cabinet of Ministers.

Belarus: fake Chagall auctioned off at $650,000
10:49, 01/06/2005

A Chagall went off for $650,000 at the Paragis, major Minsk-based antiquarian auction house, May 29. An awkward sensation came a few days later-the canvas was fake, Lyudmila Khmelnitskaya, Marc Chagall memorial house/museum manager, said to Novosti on Tuesday.

Belarus not switching to ruble as of 2006 - envoy
10:48, 01/06/2005

Belarus will not put the Russian ruble into circulation on its territory as of January 1, 2006, the Belarusian president`s special envoy in Russia Vasily Dolgolev told a briefing on May 24.

Foodstuffs to be removed from markets, aren’t they • 18:28, 30/07/2007
Students to be taught to love their home country • 16:14, 25/07/2007
«Basowiszcza-2007» • 14:00, 19/07/2007
Radioactive brick detained on the border • 17:37, 18/07/2007
Poland to join Schengen zone on January 1, 2008 • 16:59, 11/07/2007
Goods confiscated from entrepreneurs • 12:34, 04/07/2007
Sanitary authorities in Minsk suggest removing retail kiosks • 16:31, 19/06/2007
British embassy announces a change in visa application process • 15:38, 19/06/2007
Kidnapped Belarusian woman freed in Nigeria • 13:40, 17/05/2007
Belarusian entry makes Eurovision final • 15:29, 11/05/2007

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