Tuesday 1 March 2005
February 28, 2005
Analysis: Belarusian Journalist Investigating Iraqi Arms Sales On Eve Of Slaying
Police believe a domestic dispute was behind Charkasava's slaying New information recently emerged about how Belarusian journalist Veranika Charkasava spent the last few months of her life: She was investigating alleged Belarusian arms shipments to Iraq. Despite this new information, Belarusian investigators continue to have only one suspect in her murder, her 15-year-old son Anton Filomonov. He fled to Moscow this month to avoid being detained in a closed psychiatric facility.
February 25, 2005
Eastern Europe: Democracy Activists Cite Bush's Support For Their Efforts
Bush addresses the crowd during his speech in Bratislava on 24 February Democracy activists from 13 countries in Eastern Europe who gathered in Bratislava this week for a conference on the sidelines of the U.S.-Russian summit say they welcome U.S. President George W. Bush's support for their efforts. A select group of these activists had the opportunity to meet Bush in person and say they were impressed by the U.S. president's commitment to spreading the cause of freedom.
February 15, 2005
Analysis: Stuck In A Rut
Minsk, October 2004. The graffiti on the fence says 'No' to Lukashenka staying in power At the beginning of this month, three European lawmakers from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly visited Minsk to see whether the situation in Belarus has changed for the better. They have apparently found nothing new or interesting to report to their colleagues in Europe.
January 26, 2005
East: Children In Former Soviet Union Know Little About Holocaust
A personal memorial at the Birkenau death camp World leaders gather this week to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Red Army’s liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Although the Nazis operated many deaths camps throughout Europe, Auschwitz was the largest and it has come to symbolize the horror of the regime’s atrocities in its purest form. Six millions Jews were murdered by the Nazis in World War II -- more than one million of them in Auschwitz alone. Millions of non-Jews perished alongside them -- there and in other death camps -- as part of a systematic liquidation campaign unequalled, in planning and scale, in recorded history. This is known as the Holocaust. If another Holocaust is to be avoided, historians warn, the lesson of what happened at Auschwitz and other death camps must be taught to future generations. But what do today’s schoolchildren know about the events of 60 years ago?
January 25, 2005
Analysis: Diplomacy And Debauchery In Belarusian-Czech Relations
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry on 21 January expelled Czech diplomat Pavel Krivohlavy, accusing him of depraving minors and inciting them to "antisocial behavior," Belarusian Television reported. "To put it plainly, Czech diplomat Pavel Krivohlavy made juvenile boys drunk in order to subsequently try dragging them into bed," Belarusian Television alleged. The network's main news program "Panarama" on 21 January broadcast secretly recorded footage showing Krivohlavy purportedly drinking alcohol with and kissing young men in what appeared to be cafe or a restaurant.
January 04, 2005
Analysis: Belarusian Oppositionist Gets Five Years In Prison For Theft
Marynich being led into court last week The Minsk District Court on 30 December sentenced Belarusian opposition politician Mikhail Marynich, 64, to five years in a high-security prison and confiscation of property. The court found him guilty of misappropriating office equipment that the Dzelavaya Initsyyatyva (Business Initiative) association, of which he was chairman, had received from the U.S. Embassy in Minsk for temporary use. Marynich told the court in his final statement the day before that the case against him was "fabricated by the KGB following an order from the authorities." According to Marynich, the court sentenced him to prevent him from participating in the 2006 presidential election. Marynich's lawyers have announced that they will appeal the verdict.
December 29, 2004
Analysis: A Year Of Writing Dangerously
An undated photo of Veranika Charkasava, who was found slain in her Minsk apartment Two media watchdogs have concluded that 2004 was among the deadliest years for journalists in recent history. The Committee to Protest Journalists (CPJ) made the most recent assessment, announcing in early December that 2004 has been the deadliest year for journalists in a decade. Fifty-four journalists had been killed as of 10 December -- the highest death toll since 1994, when 66 were killed, many in Algeria's civil war, Rwanda, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The World Association of Newspapers noted in November that 10 more journalists had died working this year than in all of 2003.
December 21, 2004
Russia: Freedom House Downgrades Country To 'Not Free' Status
A U.S.-based organization that tracks the progress of political rights and civil liberties across the world says Russia has fallen to the status of "not free." Freedom House points to a growing trend under President Vladimir Putin to "concentrate political authorities, harass and intimidate the media, and politicize the country's law-enforcement system." Elsewhere, Belarus, Armenia, and Romania also saw setbacks, while the organization found encouraging democratic gains in Georgia and Ukraine. Turkmenistan rated among the most repressive countries.