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(en) Belarussian anarchist in a hungerstrike

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 11 Apr 2002 11:54:33 -0400 (EDT)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Stas Pochobut, Belarussian anarchist from Grodno, singer of punk rock band
"Deviation" is in
a hungerstrike to protest 10 days prison sentence he received last
Friday after having protested against closing a regional oppositional paper

In e-mail which Stas wrote last week, he states that "Pahonia is far from
being anarchists, but I remember very well when
in 1996, after presidential degree (of Alexander Lukashenko - ed.) to ban
information about actions of non-registered associations in media, they made
a big article and interview about us (anarchists, who for sure never
register - ed.)".

And indeed, first charges procuror filed against the paper 27th of August
2001 were for
printing an announcement of a non-registered organisation (in issue #40,
26th of October 2000).
Later charges of libel against president in #36 were added,
and this number was completely confiscated, as well as #37.

Stas also wrote that much of the so-called "democratical opposition" has
deserted the defence, and main work has been
left for the anarchists to do. A court against Pahonia was last tuesday, but
the result is not yet known.

To be continued... below informations about the case by Radia Racyja,
Poland. Navinki is a monthly of political satire, published in Minsk by a
collective of anarchists and post-anarchists.


BAJ protests detention of thirteen journalists

April 8, Radio Racyja

Police in the western Belarusian city of Grodno on Friday detained 13
journalists, who stood up to protest criminal prosecution against two
journalists - Mikola Markevich and Paval Mazeika - from the local private
newspaper Pahonia, closed down by the authorities last November. The Grodno
journalists - most of them being members of the Belarusian Association of
Journalists staged three unauthorized pickets in support of their colleagues
under the slogans: "Hands Off Markevich and Mazeika", "I Write The Truth
About President, Too. Am I Next?"

Mikola Markevich and Paval Mazeika are set to appear in court on Tuesday, 9
April on charges of slander against the Belarus president.

Picket organizers had filed several applications to the local authorities
requesting authorization to stage pickets, but the city administration
rejected them all in breach of the Constitutional provisions which guarantee
the right to freedom of expression. By having banned the pickets,
authorities took up responsibility for the further development of the

During the pickets the following journalists were detained:

Andrzej Pisalnik (Dien), Iryna Cherniavko (Belaruski Chas), Vitaut Rudnik
(Thrid Sector magazine), Andrei Meleshka (Nasha Niva), Andrej Pachobut (Glos
z nad Niemna), Alena Sinevich (Radio Racyja Bialystok) , Andrzej Kusjalcuk
(freelancer), Julia Doroshkevich (Pahonia), Alexander Dvoretskov
(freelancer), Alesia Sidliarevich (Pahonia), Olga Artemenko (Birza
Infarmacyji), Dmitry Egorov (Barcnews), Stas Pachobut (Navinki).

On Friday night nearly all detainees were subjected to administrative
prosecution, receiving terms in jail or fines. Dmitry Egorov and Vitaut
Rudnik - 3 days of arrest; Alexander Dvorestkov - 4 days of arrest; Stas
Pachobut and Andrzej Pisalnik - 10 days of arrest; Andrei Meleshko - 8 days
of arrest. Irina Cherniavka and Alena Sinevich were fined to 30 and 20
minimum salaries, correspondingly. Olga Artemenko and Andrzej Pachobut
received warnings. Stas Pachobut went on a hunger-strike. Other journalists
will be tried today, 8 April.

The Belarusian Association of Journalists expressed decisive protest against
administrative prosecution of journalists, emphasising that Article 33 in
Belarus Constitution clearly sets out that everyone shall be guaranteed the
freedom of opinion, believes and their free expression. The freedom of
assembly, street rallies, demonstrations and pickets is set forth in Article
35 of Belarus Constitution. Article 21 in the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights, to which Belarus is a party, recognizes the
right to peaceful assemblies.

BAJ protested against the continued pattern of attacks on the freedom of
expression by the authorities in Belarus, and appealed to international
community to join the protest.

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