Security officials had said Friday that they would deport two Georgian activists accused of teaching their local counterparts to stage anti-government protests similar to the demonstrations that brought down Georgia's longtime leader two years ago.
But a district court in Minsk said it had sentenced Georgy Kandelaki and Luka Tsuladze to 15 days in custody after finding them guilty of "minor hooliganism." The court refused to say what the Georgians, detained Wednesday, were accused of doing.
A Belarussian opposition activist, Dmitry Bondarenko, claimed that the Georgians were beaten and that the sentences were imposed to keep them in custody until their wounds heal. He said authorities often take similar measures against Belarussian opposition protesters.
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
Support the Belarusian cartoonists
Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
have set up a web page where you can make a donation via PayPal. The group urgently
need money for their legal defence and operating expenses. Please give what you can today! Read more
We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
our factsheets and letters.
Members of these groups have joined our blog to share their views and experiences.