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(en) Belarus - clampdown continues

Date Thu, 12 Jan 2006 13:10:02 +0200

Belarus anarchists report on the new powers being demanded
by the increasing repressive President Lukashenko.
On December 2 the House of Representatives passed amendments
to the Criminal and Procedural criminal codes intensifying
responsibility "for actions directed against person and public
security". The bill was put to the parliament on behalf of the
President and marked as "urgent". One of the amendments provides
that organisation or participation in the activity of organisations the
government had demanded to cease their activity, or dissolve will be
punished with a fine, six months of arrest or up to two years'
imprisonment. Amnesty will be given to those who will voluntarily
stop their participation in such an organisation and report it to
appropriate government bodies. They will be exempt from criminal
liability if there is no other corpus delicti in their actions.

Arrest of up to six months or imprisonment of up to three years can
be entailed for training or another way of preparation of people for
participation in mass disorders as well as for financial support of
such actions.

Arrest of up to six month or imprisonment of up to two years are
provided for training or another way of preparation of people for
participation in group actions, which sharply break public order, as
well as for financial or another material support of such actions in
the absence of indications of a graver crime. Responsibility for public
appeals to take state power or to change violent the constitutional
order is intensified and entails arrest of up to six months or
imprisonment of up to three years.

Appeals addressed to foreign countries, foreign or international
organisations to act to the prejudice of the external security of
Belarus, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as
distribution of materials, which contain such appeals, entail arrest
from six months to three years. If these appeals will be spread via
mass media the punishment increases to imprisonment from two to
five years [libcom note - the satirical anarchist newspaper Navinki
was banned in the past couple of years but now continues illegally].
The Criminal code is also amplified with a new article - "Discredit of
the Republic of Belarus". It means "to give deliberately a foreign
state, foreign or international organisation false information about
political, economic, social, military or international situation of the
Republic of Belarus, legal state of citizens of the Republic of Belarus
or its government bodies". All of these will entail arrest of up to six
months or imprisonment of up to two years.

Thus, threatening with imprisonment the authorities try to suppress
any unapproved protest actions and the most important - possibility
not to carry out but even to attempt to organise a mass protest
meeting against possible (according to forecasts of political
opponents of A. Lukashenko) falsification of voting during the
elections of 2006 that could develop into a so-called revolution. And
most likely that because of new rules of political game a wishful
result will be attained by the authorities.

Moreover, it is possible to say that censorship is introduced
regarding analysis of situation in the country. Now, for instance,
leaders of parties in opposition, while talking to foreign journalists,
have to be more careful with their public statements. "True
information" is the one about how well things are going on in

Belarusians, who want to change the situation in the country, have
only the right for "kitchen" conversations about Maydan and quiet
criminal thoughts, if, of course, they don't believe that it is possible
to change the situation with the help of polling-booths.

Amendments to the Criminal and Procedural criminal codes are
urgent and extraordinary, so it is possible to say that in Belarus there
is going to be an informal emergency situation.

Now to come into the force the amendments to the criminal
legislation must be approved by the Council of the Republic and
signed by the President. But this is now just a formality as
A.Lukashenko put this bill to the Parliament himself with a mark of

From the Belarus Anarchist Federation
Edited slightly by libcom 20-12-05
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