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Maksim Viniarski goes on hunger strike-Chernobyl remembrance march – Because of World Hockey match

Two activists of the Alternatyva opposition movement, Aliaksandr Stsepanenka and Uladzimir Siarheyeu, were detained last evening in Minsk. They were charged with disorderly conduct and sentenced to five days of arrest by the Minsk Tsentralny District Court.

According to Alternatyva leader Aleh Korban, the detentions are primarily related to the forthcoming Chernobyl Way demonstration.

Opposition activist Maksim Viniarski goes on hunger strike to protest sentencing


The King
: . . . He has chosen death:
Refusing to eat or drink, that he may bring
Disgrace upon me; for there is a custom,
An old and foolish custom, that if a man
Be wronged, or think that he is wronged, and starve
Upon another’s threshold till he die,
The Common People, for all time to come,
Will raise a heavy cry against that threshold,
Even though it be the King’s.
– W.B. Yeats, The King’s Threshold

Maksim Viniarski, activist of the European Belarus opposition movement, was sentenced last evening to 12 days of arrest by the Court of Minsk’s Frunzenski district.

During the trial, an ambulance was called, who said Maksim had to go to hospital because of tonsillitis. However, the police opposed and said he would go to the detention center in Akrestsin Street. In response, Maksim Viniarski declared a dry hunger strike.

Maksim Viniarski was detained by police when leaving the Korona shopping mall in Minsk. The police officers said the activist looked like a criminal.

At the police station he was charged with disobeying police officers.

Coordinator of the European Belarus movement, Maksim Viniarski, who was recently released after a 15-day arrest, said that before the release a police officer offered him to leave the city during the forthcoming Ice Hockey World Championship.

In response to this warning, Viniarski told human rights defenders that he might be detained to be preventively isolated because of his socio-political beliefs.

Chernobyl pickets banned in Vitsebsk, Navapolatsk and Hrodna

Local authorities in Vitsebsk, Navapolatsk and Hrodan have banned a number of awareness-raising pickets, scheduled for April 26 to mark the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. According to the officials, the organizers failed to submit an appropriate application.

Four representatives of the political party Belarusian Popular Front in Vitsebsk sent a request to the administration of the Chyhunachny district to hold a picket in the local park. However, the bid was rejected, as the applicants failed to attach copies of the contracts as required by the City Executive Committee’s decision. It says that the organizers must sign contracts with the police, public utilities and health care departments. But these services refuse to enter into contracts with the activists. So the activists requested that the authorities did not pay attention to the decision of the Vitsebsk City Executive Committee, but were directly guided by the Law “On Mass Events” and the Constitution. They say that the decision actually makes it impossible to exercise people’s rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Over the past five years, not a single opposition activist has managed to sign agreements required by the Vitsebsk executive officials.

In Hrodna, members of the local Belarusian Popular Front’s office have also received from the executive committee official bans on conducting awareness-raising pickets, scheduled for April 26 to mark the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.

Activists threatened with preventive detention ahead of Hockey World Championship

Human rights defenders have received information about possible provocations against opposition activists and their preventive detention ahead of the forthcoming Ice Hockey World Championship, due to open on 9 May. This was confirmed by the coordinator of the European Belarus movement Maksim Viniarski, who was recently released after a 15-day arrest.

According to HRC “Viasna” website, he said that before his release he was offered to temporarily leave the capital. A police officer told him that if he considered himself a reasonable person, he should realize that he had but two options: either to leave Belarus or to go to the country for some time (referring to the time of the Ice Hockey World Championship). Because “the issue with everyone” will be resolved anyway, the detention center employee warned the activist.

In response to this warning, Viniarski said that he did not use drugs, used foul language, was not prone to misbehavior, and so his possible arrest should be regarded as preventive isolation because of his political beliefs.

Maksim Viniarski also says that many administrative detainees held under Articles 17.1 (hooliganism) and 17.3 (appearing drunk in a public place) of the Administrative Code will be sent to active therapy centers.

Thus, the authorities of Minsk are preparing a total cleansing of unwanted persons who may in any way mar the image of Belarus among numerous foreign guests expected during the event.

April 25, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized


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