On August 31 former president of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel, who delivered a speech on at the ceremony devoted to the 25th anniversary pf “Solidarity” movement, said: “there are countries which nations are nit completely free. I think of Belarus, Burma, Northern Korea. I think that solidarity, freedom also mean responsibility. If we are responsible, today we must think of these nations and to send them confirmation of our support,” Havel said.
The Action “Youth for Education in Belarusian” started after a solemn opening ceremony in front of the Belarusian Lyceum closed by the authorities. According to Radio Svaboda, the ceremony has taken place in Kirov Street, where the only Belarusian linguistic lyceum, shut down by Belarusian authorities, once worked. Teachers congratulated children and their parents with the beginning of the new school year and thanked for excellent results of education during school vacations. As children had been studying in Poland for the whole summer, the teachers of the Lyceum decided to start the teaching process on October 1.
Exactly a quarter of a century ago, here in Gdansk, the first velvet revolution began. When, on a boiling summer`s day in August 1980 I arrived at the blue-grey gate of the Lenin shipyard, festooned with flowers and photographs of the Polish pope, with loudspeakers blaring out patriotic hymns and farmers bringing baskets of food, my colleagues and I were greeted at the gate by a young worker - naked to the waist but carefully identified as a picket by a red-and-white armband - who led us into the shipyard through two lines of strikers in dusty blue overalls, cheering as if we had personally brought the solidarity of the world; then I knew that something new and unique was happening here. A workers` revolution against a so-called workers` state!
The chairman of the All-National Strike Committee of Vendors, member of the Council of Civil Initiatives “Free Belarus” Valery Levaneuski has been trying to challenge his penalties in colonies. The political prisoner told about that on August 30 during the meeting with his family.
Hopes that Belarus, dubbed "Europe`s last dictatorship" by US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, would be the next domino to fall following pro-democracy revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine collided with reality this week.
Lawyer Vera Stramkouskaya on behalf of the activists of Georgian youth organization Luka Tsuladze and Giorgi Kandelaki has appealed from the judgement of the court of Moscow district of Minsk (15-days arrest) in Minsk City court. As information agency “Rosbalt” informs, the lawyer also addressed an appeal to the prosecutor of Minsk, stating that Tsuladze and Kandelaki were detained groundlessly.
After 30 days of administrative arrest Tadeusz Gawin, the first chairman of the Union of Poles in Belarus, was released. Today at 8.20 in the morning he was secretly transported in a police car from the pre-trial detention center of Kastrychnitski district of Hrodna. Journalists and friends were waiting for him in the street.
All the participants of the action in Volkovisk will be called to administrative account. This has been reported by the officials of the Volkovisk local police station, where the chairman of the primary Volkovisk UCP organization Alexander Borodavin and party activist Vitaly Gulyak have been brought.
Many Internet users abroad expressed their desire to keep up the creation of cartoons about the political situation in Belarus. At the same time, the members of the civil initiative "Third Way" have a status of witness in the case of libeling Aliaxandr Lukashenka, which was brought by Minsk Procurator`s Office for political cartoons on the Internet site of the mentioned organization.
On 2 September at 3 p.m. the court of Zhodzina will deal with a complaint by Siarhei Murashka against the decision made by the administration of the Zhodzina polytechnic regarding his ungrounded expulsion.
Poland`s Prime Minister Marek Belka said Wednesday that he wants to see the legacy of Solidarity, which helped topple Soviet rule in Poland and eastern Europe, inspire political change in autocratic Belarus. "The road we have all traveled should end in Minsk," Belka told world leaders to applause during celebrations in Gdansk on the 25th anniversary of Solidarity, the free trade union crucial in the collapse of communism throughout the Soviet bloc.
Leaders from across central Europe yesterday called for the export of Poland`s peaceful revolution to the neighbouring country of Belarus, described as Europe`s last dictatorship. Gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the birth of Solidarity, the presidents of Georgia and Ukraine, Mikhail Saakashvili and Viktor Yushchenko, were greeted with standing ovations as they declared that Solidarity`s example should inspire democracy activists in Belarus to topple the authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko, who expects to be re-elected next year.
"I confirm that the Commission intends to send an envoy to Belarus. As you know relations between Belarus and EU have been of a very limited nature so far," said European Spokesperson Franc,oise Le Bail. "Belarus was mentioned in the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy. When conditions are met it will be possible for Belarus to be part of this Neighborhood Policy."
The European Commission is to send a top diplomat to Belarus, as concerns grow about human rights abuses in the post-Soviet republic. Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said a charge d’affaires to Minsk should monitor the situation on the ground and also send a clear message in support of democracy, freedom and human rights.
The US Embassy to Belarus considers false and ungrounded attempts of some Belarusian printed and electronic media to accuse the diplomatic body of supplying agitation materials to Belarus and financing the opposition, reported Radio Liberty.
The forthcoming presidential election in Belarus will take place no later than July 20, 2005. The time framework is set by the Constitution: the election campaign should take place no later than two months prior to the expiry of the incumbent president’s term in office. The countdown started on September 20, 2001, the inauguration day, chairman of the central election commission of Belarus Lidia Yermoshina told BelTA. She added the commission considers to carry out presidential election strictly within the official schedule. The Chamber of Representatives of Belarus will set the final date for the election during the spring session. One of the first issues the deputies will discuss in the Oval Hall will be presidential election.
Not all newspapers managed to exclude the words “national” and “Belarusian”. The only newspaper that had not received an answer from the Information Ministry is the “Belorusskaya Gazeta”. As the BelaPAN was told by the editor-in-chief Pyotr Martsau (Martsev), the newspaper is trying to re-register with the title “BDG. Delovaya Gazeta”. As said by Martsau, because of the absence of he answer from the Ministry of Information the release of the new issue of the newspaper had been thwarted, as the publishing house needs a certificate of re-registration certified by a notary.
Russia will supply S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Belarus. The weapons will be delivered under contract to Belarus’ anti-aircraft forces, said Russian defense minister Sergei Ivanov during his visit to Russia’s southern Astrakhan region where he is observing Comradership-in-Arms-2005 anti-aircraft military training.
An accountability court judge on Wednesday sent four accused, including former Supreme Court registrar MA Farooqi, to judicial remand. Other accused include Nadeem Anwar, Zubair Ahmed and Mohammad Javed, former directors of the International Islamic Investment Bank.
The consular service of the Belarusian embassy in the USA is keeping in close contact with the American authorities and trying to find out if any Belarusians are among the victims of the hurricane Katrina. As a BelTA correspondent was told by acting head of the foreign ministry’s information department Ruslan Esin, as for today no Belarusian citizens addressed the embassy.