Wednesday 1 June 2005
June 01, 2005
U.S., EU Decry Convictions Of Belarusian Oppositionists
Graffiti states the opposition's view of last year's disputed referendum (file photo) 1 June 2005 -- The United States and the European Union today condemned the convictions of two Belarusian opposition leaders who organized mass antigovernment protests last year.
June 01, 2005
Belarus: Prominent Opposition Politicians Sentenced
Belarusian authorities on 1 June sentenced opposition politicians Mikalay Statkevich and Pavel Sevyarynets to three years of corrective labor. A national amnesty then reduced their sentences by one year each. A court convicted the two of staging a series of unauthorized demonstrations against President Alyaksander Lukashenka in late 2004. The men had protested against an October referendum that allowed Lukashenka to stay on indefinitely as president. Both men pleaded innocent and said the trial was politicized. They are to be confined in special detention centers and work under police surveillance. RFE/RL reports that the convictions seem to be aimed at silencing what is left of Belarus' beleaguered opposition.
May 25, 2005
Eastern Europe: Warsaw Turns Up Diplomatic Heat On Minsk Over Polish Group
Polish President Kwasniewski (in file photo) is taking a tough line over the Polish minority in Belarus A full-blown brawl flared up between Minsk and Warsaw earlier this month, with mutual diplomatic expulsions and a heated exchange of acrimonious accusations.
May 23, 2005
Belarus: Planning The Next Revolution?
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (file photo) Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Patrushev's recent suggestion that foreign intelligence services are seeking ways to overthrow the current Belarusian government has focused new attention on Belarus's political opposition, particularly its youngest members, since youths were at the forefront of recent colored revolutions in the region.
May 19, 2005
Belarus: International Spotlight Falls On Minsk
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (file photo) U.S. President George W. Bush delivered a quick rebuff to Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), on 17 May when the U.S. leader described Belarus as Europe's last dictatorship and praised the efforts of its neighboring countries to promote freedom in Belarus. He was speaking at the International Republican Institute in Washington, which Patrushev accused recently of plotting to undermine the government of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. As RFE/RL reports, there are signs of growing international interest in Belarus as it prepares for next year's presidential election.
May 17, 2005
Belarus: Spy Agencies Open Presidential Election Season
President Lukashenka is still popular among pensioners Last week the head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), Nikolai Patrushev, accused Western nongovernmental organizations of plotting a government overthrow in Belarus during the 2006 presidential election. The Belarusian KGB swiftly and eagerly echoed these charges, claiming additionally that it has already thwarted specific steps taken by ill-wishers of the Belarusian government in this direction. The allegations of the Russian and Belarusian Chekists seem to have inaugurated an international publicity and propaganda campaign focused on Belarus's 2006 vote.
May 16, 2005
Former Belarusian Dissident Lawmaker Arrested
Prague, 16 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Syarhey Skrabets, a member of the dissident Respublika group in Belarus's Chamber of Representatives from 2000-04, was arrested in Minsk on 15 May by men who introduced themselves as officers of a department for combating organized crime, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reported, citing Skrabets's wife.
May 12, 2005
Russian Security Chief Lodges Spying Accusations
Moscow, 12 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Russia's security chief says his agency has uncovered U.S., British, Kuwaiti, and Saudi spying activities that are being conducted under the cover of nongovernmental organizations, RFE/RL's Russian Service reported.
May 12, 2005
Belarus: Washington Set To Work For Change
Bush called Lukashenka's Belarus "Europe's last dictatorship" U.S. President George W. Bush pledged in Riga on 7 May that the United State will remain committed to the advance of democracy in Belarus. "The people of that country live under Europe's last dictatorship, and they deserve better," Bush said at a news conference following his talks with the presidents of the three Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. "The governments of Latvia and Lithuania have worked to build support for democracy in Belarus, and to deliver truthful information by radio and newspapers. Together we have set a firm and confident standard: Repression has no place on this continent."
May 11, 2005
Police Disperse Rally Against Renaming Of Minsk Streets
Minsk, 11 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Some 40 young opposition activists staged an unsanctioned demonstration on 10 May in downtown Minsk to protest the recent renaming of streets in the Belarusian capital by President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
May 11, 2005
Georgian Leader Vows To Aid Democracy In Belarus
Saakashvili (right) with U.S. President George W. Bush Prague, 11 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said in televised statements yesterday that his government is committed to helping the United States spread democracy worldwide, including in Belarus.