Seven Belarus Ex-Candidates for Presidency charged over Riots (31.12.2010)
Seven former presidential candidates in Belarus have been charged with organizing mass riots, the Viasna human rights center reports on its web site. The seven are Vladimir Neklyayev, Mikalai Statkevich, Vital Rymashevsky, Andrei Sannikau, Ales Mikhalevich, Ryhor Kastusiou and Dzmitry Uss.
Nyaklyayeu, Statkevich, Rymasheusky, Sannikau and Mikhalevich are in custody in Minsk, and Kostusiou and Uss were released under a pledge not to leave the city.
Charges brought against Natallya Radzina (30.12.2010)
Natallya Radzina, the editor of the charter97.org website, has been charged under two parts of article 293 “Mass riots”. The journalist is accused of organizing and taking part in riots. She will remain in jail for two nearest months while the investigation is carried out. The maximum punishment under this article is 15 years in prison.
Charter97.org learnt this information from Radzina’s mother Nadzeya. The mother does not know anything about Natallya Radzina’s state of health. It was only yesterday when the woman was able to pass the necessary medicines and food to the jail. According to earlier information, Natallya is still bleeding from ears after she was beaten up by officers of the special task forces.
Natallya Radzina was arrested in the charter97.org office at 4 am December 20.
Charges filed against Iryna Khalip (30.12.2010)
The well known journalist Iryna Khalip is charged over organising and participating mass riots. “Narodnaya Volya” has been informed about that by her father, a film-maker and community worker Uladzimir Khalip. “Iryna was visited by her lawyer both on Wednesday and Thursday,” Mr Khalip said. “She was interrogated again. As said by the lawyer, Iryna is charged under Article 293 – organization of mass riots and participation in mass riots. Iryna said to the lawyer that she writes letters every day, but we have received only one letter from her so far. Others have not been received – a total blockage is taking place. We have information that Andrei Sannikov also writes letters, but his messages are not received by us either…”
Belarusian activist of Russia's National Bolshevik Party arrested by KGB (30.12.2010)
Yawhen Kontush, a Belarusian activist of Russia’s National Bolshevik Party (Nazbol), has been arrested on Thursday morning. Mr. Kontush was arrested following a search of his Minsk home that was conducted by three KGB officers. The officers seized Mr. Kontush’s PC, electronic storage media, copies of Nazbol’s two bulletins and other printed material, Mr. Kabernik said.
Mr. Kabernik, an accociate from Nazbol, suggested that the raid had been conducted in connection with a mass riot case instituted by the Minsk police over the December 19 post-election demonstration in central Minsk.
Activist Franak Viachorka detained (29.12.2010)
Youth opposition leader Franak Viachorka was reportedly detained this afternoon in Minsk. Franak Viachorka, together with two other youth activists, were taken to pre-trial prison. They are going to stand trials for participating in the 20 December solidarity picket.
Activists and journalists summoned to KGB
The KGB keeps summoning civil and political activists to interrogations in the “mass riots” criminal case, asking them about their involvement and the leaders of the demonstrations on the 19th of December. Interrogated persons include Marya Kasiyan and Artsiom Starykau, election agents of former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikau, two activist from Hrodna, Edward Dmukhouski and Aliaksandra Vasilevich, the local journalist and human rights defender Uladizmir Khilmanovich and Joseph Siaredzich, chief editor of the newspaper "Narodnaya Volya".
Flats of several persons raided and searched
During the last week, the Committee for State Security (KGB) has searched the appartments of United Civil Party leader Anatol Lyabedzka, human rights activist Alena Tankachova, Andrey Skurko, editor in chief of the private weekly Nasha Niva, and Katsyaryna Tkachenka, a reporter with the Warsaw-based Belsat. Several computers, laptops and disks have been seized (Source: euroradio.fm, BelaPAN, http://naviny.by/rubrics/english/2010/12/31/ic_news_259_358463/)
Journalist fired for refusal to condemn demonstrations
Ales Liauchuk, the correspondent of the newspaper "Znamya Yunosti", has been fired. Liauchuk is convinced they fired him due to political reasons, as he refused only to write positive things about the election and to condemn the demonstrations on the elections' day.
Ministery of Justice accuses lawyers of opposition
The Belarusian justice ministry issued a statement accusing the legal counsels of those arrested after the December 19 post-election demonstration in Minsk of violating “flagrantly” their code of ethics and national regulations. (Source: BelaPAN)
Several countries reacted to the non-extension of the mandate of the OSCE Minsk office
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle criticized the intention of the Belarusian authorities. Lithuania's Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis, the incoming Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE, has called upon the government of Belarus to reconsider the decision. The Chairman of the Lithuanian Committee on Foreign Affairs, Emanuelis Zingeris, said: “Shutting down the OSCE Office in Minsk could be considered as a revenge for the objective conclusions of this organisation on the results of the presidential election in Belarus.”
The European Parliament considers sanctions against the Belarusian government
Members of the European Parliament will consider possible sanctions against the Belarusian government during an extraordinary meeting in Brussels on January 12 (Source: BelaPAN)
Poland showed most reactions to the elections and detentions
In the New Year address the Polish president Bronisław Komorowski expressed solidarity with the Belarusian democrats and urged to stop political repressions. Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski's office announced that Warsaw would abolish its national visa fee for ordinary Belarusian citizens on January 1, while Poland "reserves the right to take steps for keeping civil servants and citizens of Belarus responsible for repressions against the civil society out of its territory. The heads of the Polish and German foreign affairs committees in the respective parliaments jointly stated that the elections in Belarus lacked respect for European values and standards. Some 50 Polish universities are ready to enroll expelled Belarusian students. (Sources: charter97.org, BelaPAN)
Russia and Ukraine reacted to the detention of some of their citiizens
Moscow is "deeply disappointed" at a Belarusian court's refusal to order the release of about 10 Russian citizens jailed after the opposition's post-election street protest in Minsk, according to Grigory Karasin, Russia's deputy foreign minister, while Kyiv is pushing for release of two Ukrainians jailed over demonstration in Minsk (Source: BelaPAN).
Canada calls for release of detained
After his US and EU colleagues also the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lawrence Cannon, condemned the detention of opposition leaders in Belarus and demanded their immediate release, as well as the release of other demonstrators. (Source: http://charter97.org/en/news/2010/12/27/34873/)
Havel, Bush and others name 700 detained
A number of prominent (ex-)politicians, human rights activists and creative community representatives, including Vaclav Havel, George W. Bush, Condoleeza Rice and the current Polish and Czech Foreign Ministers have read out the names of the imprisoned and accused opposition leaders on Radio Svaboda/Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. (http://www.svaboda.org/content/article/2263589.html)
German MP visits Belarus
The only western politician visiting Belarus after the election and detentions is Marieluise Beck, German MP of the Green Party, who said at a press conference in Minsk: “If the West would like to be taken seriously, it should give a powerful response to the events that have been taking place in Belarus for 10 days.” (http://charter97.org/en/news/2010/12/28/34899/)
European Students Union is concerned
The European Students Union strongly condemns the detention of students and declared its concern with regard to the destiny of the detained Belarusian students.(http://www.euroradio.fm/en/1443/news/59102/, www.esib.org/index.php/News/press-releases/823-esu-condemns-arrests-of-belarusian-students)
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