appeal was sent to the Centers for Pluralism Newtork following the news
of the arrests of Belarus opposition leaders for participating in the annual
Chornobyl Way March, the long-time CfP friend and collaborator, Vincuk
Viacorka. IDEE encourages ongoing letter-writing and messages of support.
We also publish the letter sent by the International
League for Human Rights on behalf of the Belarusan opposition leaders.
for Pluralism Appeal
for Pluralism Network,
We have received
news that Vincuk Viacorka, chairman of the Belarus Popular Front
and former chairman of the Supolnasc Civil Society Center, has been sentenced
to 15 days in jail along with opposition leader and united presidential
candidate Alexander Milinkievich and another member of the opposition
coalition, Labor Party leader Alyaksandr Buchvostau. The three were
arrested and sentenced for organizing an unauthorized march, namely the
Chornobyl Way march held annually on April 26, the anniversary of the Chernobyl
disaster, since 1989. The three were arrested as the demonstrators
attempted to march to October Square, the traditional end of the march.
In addition, another opposition leader, Anatoly Lebedko, after disappearing,
was found beaten the day before the march. (For more information see: RFE/RL
and further reporting.)
in Belarus are concerned that these actions signal the intention of the
regime to heighten the level of repression against the opposition. Please
express your concern by sending messages of support to the Center for Pluralism
Supolnasc at <[email protected]> and also letters of protest to:
K. Marx Street,
it is important also to involve others in expressing protest and concern.
Please cc any messages to IDEE (to <[email protected]>).
of the world has turned its head to the next temporary point of concern,
we know that the situation in Belarus warrants our increasing concern.
Now is the time to show solidarity.
League for Human Rights
letter was sent by the International League for Human Rights.
May 1, 2006
K. Marx Street,
League for Human Rights, an international non-governmental organization
with special consultative status at the United Nations, expresses grave
concern about the detention of opposition leaders Aleksandr Milinkevich,
Vintsuk Vyachorka, Aleksandr Buchvostau, and Sergei Kalyakin, who were
arrested in Minsk on April 27, 2006. Their arrest occurred one day after
they all had participated in a march to protest the government's handling
of Chernobyl, the world's worst nuclear accident.
On April 27,
2006 Aleksandr Milinkevich was detained by riot police and transported
to a police station. A few hours later, Milinkevich was sentenced to 15
days of imprisonment on charges of organizing an unsanctioned protest rally.
That same day, Popular Front leader Vintsuk Vyachorka, Labour Party Chairman
Aleksandr Buchvostau, and Sergei Kalyakin of the Communist Party, were
also sentenced to two-week jail terms for taking part in the protest.
undertaken commitments to uphold international standards of freedom of
expression and assembly as a signatory to agreements such as the International
Convention on Civil and Political Rights. These freedoms are fundamental
to a democratic society. President Lukashenko, the League calls on you
to ensure that all Belarusian citizens are allowed to express their views
without fear of reprisals and prosecution.
demands the immediate and unconditional release of these opposition leaders,
and the numerous political prisoners who are imprisoned throughout Belarus.
Thank you for