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12.10.2006

A new stage in the fight against the political opposition

   

Human rights groups have called the arrest of youth activist Pavel Krasousky a new stage in fighting the political opposition. It was reported on 11 October that, in addition to being suspected of organizing explosions in Vitebsk in autumn of last year, the young activist is also under suspicion of attacks on underage girls which took place in several Belarusian cities in 1999.  A well-known human rights activist Valentin Stefanovich explained in an interview to Charter 97:  “I would call this a new stage in the fight against political opponents.  Whereas earlier they were charged under political articles, now they are being accused of murder, organizing explosions, rape.  The authorities are trying in this way to discredit the opposition in the public’s mind. This is unprecedented as these people now face the death penalty or life imprisonment. It places Belarus together with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan whose regimes plant weapons and narcotics on their opponents.  Krasovsky’s case is clearly political and we demand his immediate release.”

Pavel Krasousky was arrested on 5 October on suspicion of organizing a series of explosions in Vitebsk in autumn of last year. A day earlier a search had been carried out of his flat in Zhodino, during which his computer, disks, and printed material were removed. The investigators consider tat Krasovsky looks like an identikit picture, made up on the evidence of witnesses, of an alleged criminal responsible for the blasts. Krasovsky denies any involvement. After a year of searching, the police have not found those responsible, despite the fact that Lukashenko stated publicly last year that the culprits had been detained and were giving evidence.

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