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Entries in Andrei Sannikov (12)


Belarus: Regime Bars Lawyers for Political Prisoners (Morrison/Taylor)

Lawyers who have dared to defend imprisoned pro-democracy activists in Belarus have been disbarred, in what human rights campaigners say is a deliberate move by the government to hamper fair trials. 

At least five lawyers who have stepped up to represent jailed opposition leaders have been struck off by Belarus's Ministry of Justice, which controls who can enter the legal profession through a strict licensing system.

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Belarus Latest: 31 People Still in Prison Over Election Protests

More than a month after the disputed Presidential election, more than 30 people remain in prison in Minsk over the 19 December protests.

Four Presidential candidates --- Alexei Mikhalevich, Vladimir Neklyaev, Andrei Sannikov, and Nikolai Statkevich --- are still held.

The other 27 accused include candidates' representatives, social activists, journalists, and a former police officer who spoke out on behalf of the protesters.

There has been limited communication with detainees.

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Belarus Opinion: President Lukashenko's "Gulag" (New York Times)

Mr. Lukashenko clearly thinks that his improving relations with Russia means he can thumb his nose at the West. The Kremlin, of course, said nothing about the stolen election and has enabled him with recent oil and gas agreements. Europe and the United States must now push back hard. There is little hope for democratic change in Belarus unless Mr. Lukashenko is forced to pay a stiff price for his abuses.

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Belarus Updates: Secretary of State Clinton Meets Activists

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Belarussian and Belarussian-American human rights activists, including the President of "We Remember", Irina Krasovskaya, and Belarus Free Theater co-founder Natalya Kolyada.

According to Washington's official statement, Clinton condemned the conduct of the 19 December Presidential election and the crackdown on political leaders, activists, civil society representatives and journalists. She stressed her concern for detainees and for their family members. Clinton promised, "The United States will continue its support for and engagement with the people of Belarus."

Minsk Central District Court has refused to withdraw the "preventive detention orders" for Presidential candidates Vladimir Neklyaev and Andrei Sannikov.

The state security service KGB has visited the wife of the detained Dmitry Bandarenko, Sannikov's election agent, to ask her “to influence her husband” in cooperating with authorities. Olga Bandarenka said that, if she agreed, her husband would be released on his recognisance and would be sentenced “to a term which would be not as long as Sannikov’s".

University student Yulian Misiukevich was taken for interrogation by the KGB on Thursday after university examinations. His current whereabouts are unknown.


Belarus Updates: A Cancelled Press Conference and Possible Sanctions

2045 GMT: More searches and interrogations by the security services today: Anastasia Loiko of the human rights group Vyasna, Alexander Makayev of the Businessmen's Movement, human rights activist and journalist Vladimir Khilmanovich, and activists Andrei Presnyakov and Alexander Petkevich.

1725 GMT: Presidential candidate Vitaly Rymashevsky, who was released yesterday from detention but then cancelled a press conference to avoid re-arrest (see 0940 GMT), has given a cautious interview.

Rymashevsky said he had written President Lukashenko but it was not possible to reveal the contents of the letters. He added that his first priority was to secure the freedom of other detainees.

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Belarus Video: The Moment Candidate Sannikov and Journalist Khalip Were Arrested

An amateur video captures the moment when Belarussian forces stopped the car of Presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov and his wife, journalist Iryna Khalip, taking the two to the prison of the state security service, the KGB. Khalip was speaking on Russian radio when the autombile was stopped.

Both Sannikov and Khalip are still detained.


Belarus Updates: The Latest Charges of "Organising Riots"

Charges have been filed against Iryna Khalip, journalist and wife of detained Presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov. 

Khalip's father said Khalip was visited by her lawyer on Wednesday and Thursday. The lawyer reported that Khalip had been interrogated again and had been charged with organisation of and participation in mass riots.

Natallia Radzina, the editor of the Charter97 website, has also been charged with organisation of the protests on Election Day, 19 December, and will be detained for two months while investigations are conducted.

Radzina was arrested in Charter97's offices at 4 a.m. on 20 December.

The maximum punishment for organisation of riots is 15 years in prison.

The state security service KGB, apparently looking for photojournalist Julia Doroshkevich, have raided her apartment and detained her husband Paul Yuhnevich, an activist of "European Belarus".


Belarus Updates: The Latest Detentions

1435 GMT: Reports indicated five Presidential candidates --- Andrei Sannikov, Vladimir Neklyaev, Nikolai Statkevich, Vitaly Rymashevsky, and Alexei Mikhalevich have been charged with organizing activities which led to "riots" on Election Day on 19 December.

Under the order, the five men can be detained for two months while investigations continue.

The Guardian of London picks up on the story, reporting "at least four" candidates charged --- it does not list Mikhalevich.

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Belarus Updates: Threat of Prosecution Continues for Candidates and Activists 

1905 GMT: Political analyst Svetlana Naumova of the Speak Truth campaign has been interrogated by state security service KGB about alleged plans to overthrow the government.

1900 GMT: The lawyer for opposition candidate Vladimir Neklyaev has still not seen her client, who was taken from a hospital bed on Sunday --- having been beaten unconscious by police --- and detain. Neklyaev's wife Olga Neklyaeva says she does not know if he is alive.

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Belarus Updates: 5 Presidential Candidates, 12 Others Accused of "Organising Riots"

UPDATE 1155 GMT: Aleksandr Klaskovsky, the "hero policeman" who urged fellow police not to beat demonstrators on Sunday, has now repented for his "idiotic" actions.

Klaskovsky is the son of the prominent journalist and political analyst by the same name.

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