More than 100 representatives of the Belarusan intelligentsia, of opposition parties and groups, and of independent public organizations signed yesterday in Minsk the "Charter 97," an appeal for the restoration of the rule of law and for observance of human rights and civil liberties. Signers included literary celebrities Vasyl Bykau and Nil Hilevich, former parliament chairman Stanislau Shushkevich and Myechislau Hryb, leaders of the forcibly dissolved parliament, free trade union activists headed by Henadz Bykau, Popular Front leaders, and human rights campaigners. Pavel Sheremet, the indicted television correspondent, also signed the document and was one of the main speakers at yesterday’s constitutive meeting. Initiated by a group of independent journalists, the document is named "Charter 97" in declared emulation of the Czech dissidents’ historic 1977 document, "Charter 77". The few remaining independent Belarusan weeklies, some of them printed in neighboring Lithuania and Poland, will attempt to disseminate the programmatic document in the coming days. (Belapan, Russian agencies, November 10)
New Multibillion Dollar Oil Deal Ratified by Azerbaijan.