Human rights defender Valiantsin Stefanovich was added to the database of persons which are temporarily banned from leaving Belarus due to … a technical glitch.
“Military commissariats of the Republic of Belarus did not take a decision on temporary limitation of your right to leave the country, the reply to your request on the reason for putting your data into the database to the Ministry of Defence says. At the same time, taking into account a number of public appeals, it is noteworthy that in the period of February 24 to March 10 there were technical glitches in information transfer to the database, which might have resulted in wrong putting your data into it,” Aliaksei Biahun, Head of the MIA Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, said in his letter to Valiantsin Stefanovich.
Now the Ministry of Interior is about to check the validity of all the information put to the database from authorised state bodies within that particular period of time.
“I am fully aware of what this “technical glitch” means; it was random insomuch that only opposition politicians, independent journalists, human rights defenders and lawyers were added to the database of travel banned. We can not but hope that the persons responsible for virus propagation will be found and demonstratively punished,” Valiantsin Stefanovich said.
As it was reported before, the persons who call on foreign states and international organizations to impose economic and other sanctions towards Belarus may be subjected to a temporary ban on foreign travel and even to criminal prosecution, Pavel Radzivonau, a departmental head at the Prosecutor General’s Office, told reporters in Minsk on March 1, 2012.
In March, 2012 opposition politicians Valery Ukhnaliou, Anatol Liabedzka, Aliaksandr Dabravolski, Siarhei Kalyakin, Viktar Karnyayenka, Stanislau Shushkevich, Vintsuk Viachorka, human rights defenders Valyantsin Stefanovich, Aleh Volchak, Aleh Hulak, Harry Pahaniayla, Andrey Bandarenka, journalists Mikhas Yanchuk, Zhanna Litvina, Andrey Dynko were prohibited from travelling abroad. No explanations were given by Belarusian border officers; they merely referred the blacklisted to the Citizenship and Migration Department.
The Belarusian president admitted that the list of people banned from leaving the Republic of Belarus does exist. Being interviewed by TV Channel Russia Today Aliaksandr Lukashenka said: “We have established [this list – Belsat]. But it has not still brought into action. We have not put it in full force. But we will.» He accused oppositionists of urging Europe to impose economic sanctions on Belarusian officials, businessmen and enterprises: «It is them who toss up names, organizations, enterprises to the West and insist on introducing economic sanctions. It is them.”