BELARUS: MASS PROTEST

Minsk, 25th March 2006: The Day of Terror

 

On Saturday March 25th in Minsk a new wave of protests broke out and finished with a brutal clash with the police.

The arrest of 460 people in the protest tent camp on Friday morning had provoked the population and strengthened the general protest mood in Belarus. More than 5000 people gathered on Saturday in the centre of Minsk for the demonstration which had been announced. Authorities opposed the protest with all available police forces, special services and the army...

Sunday: Today in Minsk, special forces of the interior, army and OMON dispersed a demonstration using tear gas and unknown weapons. There are reports of dozens of people heavily brutalized and seriously wounded.

The people arrested have been transferred all around Belarus since Minsk jails are full.

Videos: 23-24.03.06 last night of the protest camp [mirror] | Sat 25.03.06 before the attack: video-1 video-2 video-3 video-4 | Police attack citizens - Dzerzhinskiy St, Sat 25.03.06: before attack - main attack-1 - main attack-2 - sound grenade
More news in Russian and Belarusian: IMC Belarus blog [1] blog [2] | Photos: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

On Saturday March 25th in Minsk a new wave of protests broke out and finished with a brutal clash with the police.

The arrest of 460 people in the protest tent camp on Friday morning had provoked the population and strengthened the general protest mood in Belarus. More than 5000 people gathered on Saturday in the centre of Minsk for the demonstration which had been announced. Authorities opposed the protest with all available police forces, special services and the army.

By the beginning of the action, the city centre was filled with dozens of armored special forces lorries, and riot squads (OMON) buses. Rows of the police moved quickly across the streets. The police divided streets into sectors, surrounding passers-by and not giving them an opportunity to move. People were squeezed against walls in danger of being crushed. The first detentions of individuals took place.

Nevertheless, a significant number of protestors managed to regroup in a nearby square and hold a meeting against police terror, elections fraud and for solidarity with the people arrested.

After the meeting a part of the group of protestors began to move towards the prison where the arrested people were being held (on Okrestina Street - Окрестина). The idea of rally was to provide support for those arrested and to ask to be able to give food and clothes to them. Some hours earlier, the prison guards had been strengthened, and snipers had been placed on roofs.

A few kilometres further, in a narrow deserted place, the path of the peace demonstration was met with lines of soldiers in riot equipment, and also soldiers of "SOBR" (special rapid response forces, whose chief, Dmitry Pavlichenko, is suspected of political assassinations). After people had stopped moving, explosions (presumably, gas or noise grenades) sounded in front of the protestors and the special troops went on the offensive. Some people, shell-shocked by the explosions, fell down, and armored soldiers stepped on their bodies. Other demonstrators started to run - they were caught, severely beaten and arrested. Two or three persons, lying on the ground unconscious, had to be transported on stretchers. One of them was in an extremely grave condition, and eyewitnesses thought he had been killed (Sergey Atroshchenkov). It was found out later that fortunately he is still alive, but doctors at the hospital have refused to give any information regarding his condition.

After the beating and dispersal, more than 100 persons were arrested and loaded into armored lorries. According to eyewitnesses, this level of police brutality was unprecedented in Belarus. In addition to demonstrators, in the epicenter of events there happened to be people who had just left buses and trams, some of them with children.

Further representatives of the special forces in armored jeeps began hunting for "suspicious" looking people on the streets of the city, arresting them for participation in the demonstration.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, only 10 people have been injured, and 8 of them are soldiers of special troops. The police deny using violent tactics in their attack.

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Weitere Informationen auf deutsch (more in german)

at.indymedia.org 30.Mar.2006 01:33




FEATURE:  http://at.indymedia.org/feature/display/53425
PDF:  http://at.indymedia.org/newswire/display/55359
LINKS:  http://at.indymedia.org/newswire/display/55349#links
SOLIAUFRUF:  http://at.indymedia.org/newswire/display/55358

News notices about Belarus

alfa - imc brazil 30.Mar.2006 20:56

List of the Detained and Arrested, Updated March 28, 5.45 p.m.
 http://www.spring96.org/en/news/3359/


LIST OF JOURNALISTS, PROSECUTED FOR CARRYING OUT PROFESSIONAL DUTIES
 http://www.spring96.org/en/news/3362/

More news in Viasna website
 http://www.spring96.org/en

Novas notícias

alfa cmi brasil 30.Mar.2006 22:57



Lista de presos Atualização 28 de Março, 5.45 da tarde
 http://www.spring96.org/en/news/3359/


Lista de jornalistas presos com penas
 http://www.spring96.org/en/news/3362/

Mais notícias em ingles no site da ONG Viasna
 http://www.spring96.org/en

Belarus _appeal for Solidarity 31st March

Belarus Anarchist Federation 01.Apr.2006 21:58

Belarus _appeal for Solidarity 31st March

On March 31st we appeal to you to join the action of solidarity with hundreds of Byelorussian political prisoners. They were arrested during the protests against the falsified elections. That day,31 March, is the inauguration of the "first forever" president of Belarus – Lukashenko. In protest of that we are arranging a broad action, which has been named "Black mark for Rygorych" (nickname of Lukashenko). The goal of the action is the following: people throughout the world will hang out black ribbons in different cities during the day. The ribbons will be hung on the trees, fences, in public transport, metro etc. These actions will take place close to the Byelorussian embassies in different countries. That date we kindly call you to come to protest against the political repression in Belarus and also to cover an embassy of Belarus and its neighbourhood with the black ribbons. We want your action to be published in the press. We need your solidarity now!

Belarus Anarchist Federation

 http://www.iaf-ifa.org/News/belarus/solidarity.htm

out-of-date message! Lukaszenko inauguration postponed! :-)

check your info 02.Apr.2006 12:16

> That day,31 March, is the inauguration of the
> "first forever" president of Belarus – Lukashenko

This is a translation of an *old* message. There *was* a plan to protest on Lukaszenko's inauguration, but his planned inauguration yesterday was already cancelled earlier.

Please prepare solidarity actions! but check your info - e.g. on  http://belarus.indymedia.org - just ask for English translations if you need them or try yahoo or babelfish translators from Russian to English.

A regular action occurs on the 16th of every month in Belarus and Poland, and it seems there is a plan for an action on 10 April -  http://belarus.indymedia.org/4385

 http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=24&art_id=qw1143546121414B214

Lukashenko's inauguration postponed
March 28 2006 at 02:46PM
Moscow - The inauguration of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has been postponed from the previously announced date of Friday [31 March], probably until next month [April], officials said Tuesday, without giving a reason.

 http://uk.news.yahoo.com/28032006/325/belarus-puts-lukashenko-inauguration.html

Belarus puts off Lukashenko inauguration
Reuters Tuesday March 28, 11:12 AM
MINSK (Reuters) - The inauguration of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, whose re-election triggered opposition protests, has been put back from its scheduled date of March 31, a senior election official said on Tuesday.

Nikolai Lozovik, secretary of the Central Election Commission, said a new date would be set by Lukashenko's administration. He gave no reason for the postponement.

Russian periodical text on situation in the Belarus

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey (alfa imc brasil) 03.Apr.2006 15:07

Russian periodical text on situation in the Belarus. It fits to remember that the Russia and the Community of the Independent States - CIS, led for Russia, had supported the vitoria of Lukashenko and had legitimized the election, defendant of fraudulent for the United States and the European Union.

Where is the interfering and meddling hand of the West? What colour will the Revolution be this time?

Strange. There has been an election in an ex-Soviet Republic – Belarus, but where are the NGOs, funding groups of subversives and hijacking the country’s culture and laws? Isn’t there going to be a velvet revolution or an orange revolution? Where are the second-line politicians, bribed and trained for their task by Washington? Isn’t Belarus going to apply for EU membership or ask to join NATO? What happened to the final piece of the jigsaw on Russia’s west flank?

Isn’t anyone going to back up the defeated opposition candidate, Alexander Milinkevich, who has called for street protests (concentrations of terrorists and vandals) and who has deried the elections as unfair? After all, Milinkevich achieved a hefty six per cent of the vote. He must have been popular, so popular in fact that he got exactly the same percentage of the vote as many analysts predicted, while Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected as President with some 82.6%, in a 92.6% turnout.

Vladimir Rushailo, head of a CIS monitoring committee, stated yesterday that his teams of monitors did not see any serious violations in this election.

Alexander Lukashenko begins his third term knowing his country and his people are behind him, after a free and fair democratic election which saw the three opposition candidates garner less than 12% of the vote between them. Apart from the 6% of Milinkevich (Allied Opposition/Unified Democratic Forces), Sergei Gaidukevich (Liberal Democrat) managed 3.5% and Aleksandr Kozulin (Social Democrat), 2.3%.

Why did Alexander Lukashenko win? Because he has guaranteed a swift and silky-smooth transition from a controlled to a market economy, he has avoided the hiccoughs felt in other ex-Soviet states and he has maintained the stability of the economy, of the work market and has guaranteed the lot of the average citizen, from the schoolchild to the pensioner.

If the meddlesome and interfering West bothered to employ analysts who had any idea what they were speaking about and did not work from their offices in comfortable western capitals and if their so-called free press stopped telling lies (a habit that has become worse since the end of the Cold War), we would not hear such ludicrous terms as “Lukashenko the Dictator” and absurd claims that the E.U. will impose sanctions.

Why? Because Lukashenko won? Certainly Moscow will be able to match clout for clout the sanctions imposed by the European Union, that clique of self-righteous former imperialist colonialist states whose recent history is marred by the stain of slavery and the wholesale slaughter of populations in developing countries. Who is the European Union to speak?

As for the USA, did Lukashenko invade a sovereign state, slaughter 100.000 people, wire up prisoners’ genitals with electrodes, urinate on their food and set dogs on them? Or did he mind his own business performing good governance in his own country? Compare this with the “democratic” calls for civil disobedience by the heavily defeated Milinkevich.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

 http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/21-03-2006/77588-Belarus-0

Texto de jornal russo sobre a crise em Belarus.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY 03.Apr.2006 15:09

Texto de jornal russo sobre situação na Belarus. Cabe lembrar que a Rússia e a Comunidade dos Estados Independentes - CEI, liderada pela Rússia, apoiaram a vitoria de Lukashenko e legitimaram a eleição, acusada de fraudulenta pelos Estados Unidos e pela União Européia.

BIELORÚSSIA – ENTÃO, ONDE É QUE ESTÁ A REVOLUÇÃO?

Mas que estranho…houve uma eleição numa ex-república soviética (Bielorússia, dia 19 de Março) mas onde estão as ONGs, financiando grupos de subversivos e vândalos, contrariando as leis e a cultura do país? Não vai haver uma revolução de veludo ou cor de laranja? Onde está a mão de Soros? Onde estão os políticos de segunda-linha, subornados e treinados por Washington? Será que Bielorússia não vai candidatar-se para a União Europeia ou para a Organização Terrorista do Atlântico Norte (OTAN)? O que aconteceu com a peça final do puzzle no flanco ocidental da Rússia?

Será que ninguém vai apoiar o candidato derrotado da oposição, Aleksandr Milinkevich, que apelou por concentrações de terroristas e criminosos (protestos de rua) e que, como a grande maioria de candidatos derrotados nas eleições africanas durante o ano passado, declarou que as eleições não eram justas? Afinal, Milinkevich recebeu um pesadíssimo 6% do voto – deve ser muito popular – tão popular de facto que recebeu exatamente a mesma percentagem do voto que muitos analistas previam, enquanto Aleksandr Lukashenko foi reconduzido com 82,6% com uma taxa de votação de 92,6%.

Vladimir Rushailo, director duma missão de observadores da CEI (Comunidade de Estados Independentes, ex-URSS menos os três estados bálticos) declarou ontem que os membros das equipas de observadores não viram nenhumas violações graves durante o processo eleitoral. Mas os observadores ocidentais, como sempre, viam outro filme no mesmo cinema. Uma coisa é não ver aquilo que existe, mas ver coisas que nem existem, é uma patologia mais complicada.

Aleksandr Lukashenko começa assim o seu terceiro termo como Presidente sabendo que tem o país e o povo com ele depois duma eleição democrática que viu os três candidatos da oposição receberem menos que 12% do voto entre eles. Além dos 6% de Milinkevich (Aliança/Forças Democráticas Unificadas), Sergei Gaidukevich (Democrata Liberal) conseguiu 3,5% e Aleksandr Kozulin (Democrata Social) 2,3%.

Por quê é que Aleksandr Lukashenko venceu com uma margem tão grande? Porque garantiu uma transição suave da economia controlada para a economia de mercado, evitou os soluços sentidos nas outras repúblicas ex-soviéticas, manteve a estabilidade da economia, do mercado de trabalho e garantiu uma vida minimamente confortável para o cidadão médio, desde a criança na escola até ao pensionista, com taxas de crescimento e desenvolvimento económico que deixam muitos estados europeus na sombra.

Mas isso o leitor não vai ler em nenhum órgão de comunicação ocidental. Se o Ocidente, intrometido e imiscuído, ouvisse analistas que sabiam o que diziam e que não se limitavam a largar sentenças dos seus escritórios confortáveis e se a chamada imprensa livre deixasse de mentir (hábito que aumenta diariamente desde o fim da Guerra Fria), não veríamos frases absurdas como “Lukashenko o ditador” e promessas risíveis da União Europeia, que vai impor sanções.

Por quê? Porque Lukashenko venceu? Com certeza, Moscovo seria capaz de igualar quaisquer sanções impostas pela U.E. – aquele bando de arrogantes e arrojadas antigas potências imperialistas e colonialistas cuja história recente é manchada pela escravatura e a chacina de populações nos países que eles “civilizaram”. Com que direito a União Europeia se pronuncia sobre qualquer coisa que fosse?

E quanto aos Estados Unidos da América, Lukashenko invadiu qualquer estado soberano, chacinou 100.000 pessoas, prendeu os genitais de prisioneiros com eléctrodos, urinou na sua comida, atacou-os com cães, tem campos de concentração? Haverá uma versão bielorussa de Lynndie England, uma Lyudmila Angliya? Não, porque na Bielorússia, ao contrário dos Estados Unidos da América, não existem “trailer parks”.

Ou será que Presidente Lukashenko se metia naquilo que era dele, nomeadamente governar seu país, e governar bem? Comparemos isso com as chamadas “democráticas” para desobediência cívica feitas pelo pesadamente derrotado Milinkevich.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY
PRAVDA.Ru

 http://port.pravda.ru/main/2006/03/20/10477.html

Oh, screw the Poles and the rest of the E.U.

Nobody 10.Apr.2006 21:56

Really, it does matter what these people are protesting FOR. And what they are protesting for is bringing Belarus from its independent status into the same situation as the rest of Eastern Europe, as a colony of the West.

There is really no indication that Belarus as a whole wants any other government than the one it has. A few hundred protesters feel differently, I know, put up to it by the West and by the Polish government. One of the people who was arrested was actually the former Polish ambassador to Belarus. But so what?

Really, what is this but more Indymedia chumpery?

Nobody 11.Apr.2006 02:41

The Polish government which helped invade Iraq, and the CIA, which was mainly behind the whole business, want a new government in Belarus. One that will work for them, rather than Belarussians, obviously. And so they send a few protesters out to occupy the main square indefinitely, and thus produce the same kind of crack down on an illegal protest you would get in any country in the world. And who can they absolutely count on to give them prominent and positive press coverage? The chumps that run Indymedia. You people really haven't got a clue what's what or who is who in the world. As long as they're carrying a pasteboard sign you're all for them.

response to "Nobody"

somebody 01.Oct.2006 16:23

Oh, screw the Poles and the rest of the E.U.
>
> Nobody 10.Apr.2006 21:56
>
> Really, it does matter what these people are protesting FOR. And
> what they are protesting for is bringing Belarus from its
> independent status into the same situation as the rest of Eastern
> Europe, as a colony of the West.

There is a mix of reasons why people are protesting. Some of them want
Belarus to become a colony of the West, but many of them want basic
personal freedom. They want to be able to organise without risking
2 years in prison. They want to be able to disagree with the President
without risking 5 years in prison. They don't want to risk assassination
for their political activities.

 http://belarus.indymedia.org/1713

1. Forms of punishments for political activity.

Public meetings, not sanctioned by the state, can entail
punishment to 15 days of arrest or large money penalties. As the
experience of recent months shows, punishment is possible even
for meetings, conducted in enclosed accommodations (see the case
ROO "Perspektiva" October 2005).

Public statements and activity on behalf of groups, movements,
and associations unregistered in the state bodies are declared
illegal. The form of punishment - up to two years of prison.

Public statements, which contain criticism of the President and
organs of authority, can be treated by the court as slander and
entail up to 5 years of imprisonment.

The most severe forms of punishment among those provided by the
law are applied to activists accused of offences of non-political
character (see the case of Marinich).

Students undergo additional pressure: participation in political
or social activities beyond the framework of the state public
association BRSM (Belarusian State Union of the Youth) is
semi-official ground for pursuit of such students and is a basis
for their expulsion from university.


Dmitry Pavlichenko is the leader of one of the paramilitary
forces repressing the demonstrators, called SOBR. He has been involved
in at least one political assassination:
 http://assembly.coe.int/Documents/WorkingDocs/doc04/EDOC10062.htm

> There is really no indication that Belarus as a whole wants any
> other government than the one it has. A few hundred protesters
> feel differently, I know, put up to it by the West and by the
> Polish government. One of the people who was arrested was
> actually the former Polish ambassador to Belarus. But so what?
> Really, what is this but more Indymedia chumpery?

How many people really want their government to assassinate opposition
politicians?

> Nobody 11.Apr.2006 02:41
>
> The Polish government which helped invade Iraq, and the CIA,
> which was mainly behind the whole business, want a new government
> in Belarus. One that will work for them, rather than
> Belarussians, obviously.

That's true.

> And so they send a few protesters out to
> occupy the main square indefinitely, and thus produce the same
> kind of crack down on an illegal protest you would get in any

The protestors were very much local belarusians - you don't get
people risking a likely 15 days in prison just because the
government next door opposes their government.

> country in the world. And who can they absolutely count on to
> give them prominent and positive press coverage? The chumps that
> run Indymedia. You people really haven't got a clue what's what
> or who is who in the world. As long as they're carrying a
> pasteboard sign you're all for them.

If they risk 5 years in prison for carrying a pasteboard sign,
and they're self-organising and refusing to be controlled by
political parties, and they're opposing fascism (state-corporate
welfare state), then yes, chances
are they're going to get prominent and positive press coverage
in indymedia. We're not a socialist propaganda organ.

Belarus is not a socialist paradise

somebody 03.Oct.2006 19:41

> Oh, screw the Poles and the rest of the E.U.
>
> Nobody 10.Apr.2006 21:56
>
> Really, it does matter what these people are protesting FOR. And
> what they are protesting for is bringing Belarus from its
> independent status into the same situation as the rest of Eastern
> Europe, as a colony of the West.

There is a mix of reasons why people are protesting. Some of them want
Belarus to become a colony of the West, but many of them want basic
personal freedom. They want to be able to organise without risking
2 years in prison. They want to be able to disagree with the President
without risking 5 years in prison. They don't want to risk assassination
for their political activities.

 http://belarus.indymedia.org/1713

1. Forms of punishments for political activity.

Public meetings, not sanctioned by the state, can entail
punishment to 15 days of arrest or large money penalties. As the
experience of recent months shows, punishment is possible even
for meetings, conducted in enclosed accommodations (see the case
ROO "Perspektiva" October 2005).

Public statements and activity on behalf of groups, movements,
and associations unregistered in the state bodies are declared
illegal. The form of punishment - up to two years of prison.

Public statements, which contain criticism of the President and
organs of authority, can be treated by the court as slander and
entail up to 5 years of imprisonment.

The most severe forms of punishment among those provided by the
law are applied to activists accused of offences of non-political
character (see the case of Marinich).

Students undergo additional pressure: participation in political
or social activities beyond the framework of the state public
association BRSM (Belarusian State Union of the Youth) is
semi-official ground for pursuit of such students and is a basis
for their expulsion from university.


Dmitry Pavlichenko is the leader of one of the paramilitary
forces repressing the demonstrators, called SOBR. He has been involved
in at least one political assassination:
 http://assembly.coe.int/Documents/WorkingDocs/doc04/EDOC10062.htm

> There is really no indication that Belarus as a whole wants any
> other government than the one it has. A few hundred protesters
> feel differently, I know, put up to it by the West and by the
> Polish government. One of the people who was arrested was
> actually the former Polish ambassador to Belarus. But so what?
> Really, what is this but more Indymedia chumpery?

How many people really want their government to assassinate opposition
politicians?

> Nobody 11.Apr.2006 02:41
>
> The Polish government which helped invade Iraq, and the CIA,
> which was mainly behind the whole business, want a new government
> in Belarus. One that will work for them, rather than
> Belarussians, obviously.

That's true.

> And so they send a few protesters out to
> occupy the main square indefinitely, and thus produce the same
> kind of crack down on an illegal protest you would get in any

The protestors were very much local belarusians - you don't get
people risking a likely 15 days in prison just because the
government next door opposes their government.

> country in the world. And who can they absolutely count on to
> give them prominent and positive press coverage? The chumps that
> run Indymedia. You people really haven't got a clue what's what
> or who is who in the world. As long as they're carrying a
> pasteboard sign you're all for them.

If they risk 5 years in prison for carrying a pasteboard sign
criticising the president, and they're self-organising and refusing to be controlled by
political parties, and they're opposing fascism, then yes, chances
are they're going to get prominent and positive press coverage
in indymedia. We're not a socialist propaganda organ.

Belarus is not a socialist paradise; it's more like a socialist hellhole.