Halloween in Belarus - Time to Get Spooked For the World Around?

Michael Batiukov

CREDO: S - Spiritual purpose in life leads to self-knowledge, education, mastery and perfection. T - Trust in the power of your mind, your life is the reflection of your own thoughts. R - Respect for self, respect for others, responsibility for all your actions. A - All things are possible, nothing is impossible, as you think so shall you be. N - Negative inner mind-set keeps you from being on purpose. N - No limits, no boundaries, never give up. I - I am whole, complete, total, fully alive, I need no more to be happy. K - Know yourself first, knowledge is always power.

New arrests have taken place in close proximity to the court of Kastrychnitski district of Minsk, where the trial over Zmitser Dashkevich continues on Tuesday, October 31, 2006. People in plainclothes who had been watching outside the court building since morning, seized young activists who had been nearing the bus stop, placed them into a car and took them in an unknown direction.

On October 10th, 2006 in Minsk the trial over the "Young Front" leader Zmitser Dashkevich has started in the court of Kastrychnitski district.

The young activist is charged with violation of the Article 193 of the Criminal Code, "acting on behalf of an unregistered organization". It is not the first political trial under this article of the Criminal Code of Belarus. Activists of the public initiative of elections observation "Partnerstva" Tsimafei Dranchuk and Mikola Astrejka are already serving the sentence of one and two years respectively for participation in an unregistered organization. This new article of the Criminal Code appeared during the presidential election campaign. Several hundreds of people have gathered to express protest against Zmitser Dashkevich's persecution. In a spontaneous protest young activists were walking like prisoners.

Ambassadors of the US and Germany, representatives of Polish and Swedish Embassies, well-known human rights activists, writers, opposition activists, including the leader of the democratic forces Aleksandr Milinkevich have arrived to the court to follow the trial. However, the trial over Dashkevich is held behind the closed doors, and nobody has been allowed to attend it.

"We have been working with Zmitser Dashkevich during the election campaign. I respect this person greatly. He is strong in spirit, a very moral person, a committed Christian. I have come here to support him. Why is it a process behind the closed doors? They are afraid of trying people publicly. Repressions won't stop until Lukashenko rules the country, they can only snowball. It all happens because of fear, as the regime understands that it loses, as the truth is at our side," the leader of the democratic forces Aleksandr Milinkevich said.

Also Hrodna Regional customs office has brought up a criminal action for drugs smuggling. The matter concerns several packets with white powder allegedly found in the car of the Chairperson of the Union of Poles in Belarus Andzelika Borys on October 29, when she was on her way from Lithuania to Belarus. On Monday, October 30 Andzelika was detained. Activists of the organization Teresa Selivonchyk and Andrzej Lisouski were detained with her.

The Charter'97 press-service has been informed about that by an activist of the Union of Poles in Belarus Andrzej Poczobutt. As said by the activist, experts have found that there were narcotic drugs in the packets. "It is still unknown what kind of drugs it was. First they said it was heroin, then amphetamine, and then - hashish. In any case, I do not think that they had planted these packets into Borys' car to say later that they contained a detergent," Poczobutt said to the Charter'97 press center.

It is likely that Andzelika Borys is to be a witness in this criminal case first. She hasn't been informed about anything officially yet. The car in which "drugs" had been found has not been returned by policemen yet.

Commenting on the incident at the border to the Charter 97 press center Andzelika Borys said:

"It's simply a provocation. They have been checking us at the border for a long time, and then "suddenly" they found three little wraps with some powder in the glass at the back of the car. The packets were wrapped in white clean gauze. But it has been raining all day long! If packets were there earlier, they should have become dirty. I am sure these packages had been planted to our car. We were held at the border for 10 hours! First a personal check, then we were taken to a psychiatric dispensary, we were taken drug blood tests. Then we were escorted to Hrodna. They were people in mufti who refused to present themselves. I was not allowed to phone, I was treated like a criminal! It's an obvious provocation with the aim to intimidate activists of the Union of Poles in Belarus."

Anzelika Borys and her colleagues were returning from Vilnius from a session of the European Association of Polonia organizations and were detained by Belarusian customs officers.

On October 31, 2006 the former candidate for presidency in Belarus, Aleksandr Kozulin, who is serving the sentence (5.5 years) in the penal colony No. 3 in Vitsebsk, was hospitalized.

Kozulin protested against the iniquity committed in the country, and was trying to attract attention of the UN Security Council to the situation in Belarus with his hunger strike which he had started on October 20, 2006 with the other inmate Sergei Skrebets - a former member of the dissolved Belarusian Parliament's Group "Respublika" who was arrested on May 15 2005 for alleged fraudulent business practice and sentenced to 2.5 years on February 14th, 2006.

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