The Belarusan Association of Detainees of the Lukashenka Regime held its founding convention on April 26 in Minsk. The Association’s steering committee includes Popular Front leaders Yurii Khadyka and Vyacheslau Sivchyk, journalists Pavel Sharamet and Dzmitry Zavadski, poets Slavamir Adamovich and Alyaksey Melnikau, and other political and cultural figures who have at one time or another been detained and/or sentenced by the authorities. The association seeks status as a nongovernmental organization dedicated to the defense of those detained for political reasons.
The founding convention issued a statement to draw public attention to the fate of Young Front member Alyaksey Shydlousky, recently sentenced to one and a half years in prison; Young Front co-chairman Pavel Sevyarynets, currently in detention pending trial; businessman Andrey Klimau, a deputy to the forcibly dissolved parliament, currently in jail facing trial on trumped-up embezzlement charges; and another deputy of the legitimate parliament, Uladzimir Kudzinau, serving a seven-year prison term on “bribery” charges. (Belapan, April 26)
GEORGIAN DEFENSE MINISTER NADIBAIDZE REPLACED.