Post-election pressure: Justice Ministry warns opposition party (video)

The Justice Ministry warns the United Civic Party of Belarus (UCPB) against violating regulations governing mass events. Its leaders do not rule out that their next step might be liquidation of the party.

English subs:

{movie}The Ministry of Justice warns the United Civic Party of Belarus, ENG subs|right|15787{/movie}


‘In their letter the Ministry states that all that happened [picketing] is unacceptable, and if the party’s members continue violation of regulations governing mass events the Supreme Court may order the liquidation of a political party.’


‘We consider this act as political pressure which is being placed to shut your mouths during the 2014 World Ice Hockey Championship in Minsk and prevent our activist from taking part in the campaign Fair Play. Secondly, it may be regarded as a long-term plan in the run-up to the 2015 presidential elections campaign.’

During the recent local elections campaign the party’s candidates for deputy were holding pickets demanding free and fair elections and expressing solidarity with the political prisoners. The pickets might have been sanctioned but Anatol Liabedzka was sentenced to 15 days in custody for his taking part in the action. Other UCPB activists were also arrested and fined.

The United Civic Party has repeatedly stated that there are no real elections in Belarus. Nevertheless, the party ran candidates in March’s local elections, explaining that it wanted to use the campaign to reach out to voters.

While not openly calling for a boycott of the elections, which is prohibited by recently enacted amendments to the Electoral Code, the party urged people who were compelled to go to the polls to write on their ballots that they demanded fair elections.

Hanna Liubakova, In Focus

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