Some 200 parents of school children demonstrated in central Minsk yesterday against the imposition of Russian in place of Belarusan as the primary language of instruction in schools. Activists of the Belarusan Language Association organized the rally, citing figures showing that only 30 percent of Belarusan schoolchildren are currently being taught in the native language, down from 70 percent in 1991. Rally participants complained that local authorities harass families whose children go to Belarusan-language schools. They also asserted that President Alyaksandr Lukashenka is forcing the switch from Belarusan to Russian instruction as part of his pro-Russian policies (AP, September 16).
INTERNATIONAL ACTION ON BEHALF OF ARRESTED BELARUSAN DEPUTIES.