On 4 February 25 youth activists were detained in Minsk by police. Two of them Aleh Korban and Dzmitry Fedaryk are suspected of the organization or participation in activity of unregistered public organization. In accordance with this article they could be sentenced to imprisonment for the term up to two years. Human rights defenders consider these arrests as the beginning of a new wave of political repressions against activists of the civil society in Belarus. (06-FEB-07)
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Statement by Human Rights Center Viasna
On 4 February 2007 in a private apartment in Minsk the police detained 25 youth activists, who were taken to a police station and kept there for 7 hours. Among the detained persons there were Aleh Korban and Dzmitry Fedaryk who immediately after the detention were driven in unknown direction. During the following day their location remained unknown.
As Human Rights Center Viasna learned, now Dzmitry Fedaruk and Aleh Korban are kept in the investigative isolator of KGB in Minsk as suspects in a criminal case brought under article 193.1 of the Criminal Code (organization or participation in activity of unregistered public organization or fund). It’s worth mentioning that a criminal case under this article was brought against Aleh Korban in 2006 and then stopped.
Human Rights Center Viasna considers these arrests as the beginning of a new wave of political repressions against activists of the civil society in the country. We consider the arrest of Dzmitry Fedaruk and Aleh Korban as politically motivated harassment.
We again remind that punishment of public activists under article 193.1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus is a gross violation of human rights and infringes upon the right to association that is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Demagogically speaking of possible negotiations with the EU countries the Belarusian authorities continue large-scale repressions against public activists thus striking through all possibilities for such negotiations.
Human Rights Center Viasna demands that the authorities immediately release Aleh Korban and Dzmitry Fedaruk as well as all other political prisoners and abolish all politically motivated amendments to the Criminal Code that were enforced on 1 January 2006.
Minsk, 6 February 2007