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Belarus: Further information on ill-treatment / possible prisoners of conscience

, Index number: EUR 49/006/1997

Gregory Kishko, and new name: Andrey Sheptytskich: Amnesty International has learned that Gregory Kishko was released from detention pending trial and was reportedly beaten by police officers at a demonstration on 23 March 1997 prior to his arrest. Andrey Sheptytskich, of Ukrainian nationality, has been detained since 26 April after participating in a demonstration commemorating the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

EXTERNAL AI Index: EUR 49/06/97
8 July 1997
Further information on UA 266/96 (EUR 49/05/96, 18 November 1996) and follow-up
(EUR 49/02/97, 14 March 1997; EUR 49/03/97, 7 May 1997; EUR 49/05/97, 17 June
1997) - Ill-treatment / possible prisoners of conscience
BELARUSGregory Kishko
new name: Andrey Sheptytskich
Amnesty International has received information that Gregory Kishko has been
released from detention in Belarus pending trial though he is not permitted
to leave the country. Gregory Kishko was reportedly beaten by police officers
at a demonstration on 23 March 1997 prior to his arrest that day.
According to further information, Andrey Sheptytskich, of Ukrainian nationality
has been in detention in Belarus since 26 April. This follows his participation
in a demonstration commemorating the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. He is
reportedly charged under Article 86, part 3 of the Belarus criminal code:
"organization or active participation in group actions which violate public
order". The maximum sentence under this article is five years’ imprisonment.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Amnesty International is concerned regarding the apparent pattern of
ill-treatment and imprisonment of members of the opposition as a result of
peaceful strikes and demonstrations in Belarus and has repeatedly raised this
with the Belorussian authorities.
Human rights organizations report that widespread demonstrations throughout
Belarus on 23 March resulted in numerous arrests, detentions and fines. Police
officers reportedly arrested 30 people following a protest against plans to
send students for their community service to areas of Belarus affected by the
Chernobyl nuclear accident. Those arrested reportedly included the elderly
and young boys and girls. Reports also state that a 10-year-old boy was detained
by police for wearing a red and white bandage around his head which resembled
the prohibited former national flag.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in
Russian, English or your own language:
- calling for the immediate release of any demonstrators held in police custody
solely for exercising their right to freedom of assembly;
- seeking assurances that neither Gregory Kishko, Andrey Sheptytskich, nor
any other person in the future will be imprisoned solely on the grounds of
their political beliefs or for peacefully expressing their right to freedom
of assembly;
- urging the authorities to initiate prompt and impartial investigations into
all allegations of ill-treatment of demonstrators by the police and to bring
to justice anyone found responsible;
- urging the authorities to provide compensation to the victims of police abuse
and to make all law enforcement officials aware that torture and ill-treatment
2
are prohibited in any circumstances under the provisions of the Convention
against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Belarus
is a party as a successor state of the USSR.
APPEALS TO:
The President of Belarus, Alyaksandr Lukashenka
Respublika Belarus
220010 g. Minsk
pl. Nezavisimosti
Apparat Prezidenta Respubliki Belarus
Prezidentu Respubliki Belarus Lukashenka A.H
BELARUS
Telegrams: Prezidentu Lukashenko, Minsk, Belarus
Faxes: + 375 172 23-58-25
Salutation: Dear President
The Procurator General of Belarus, Aleh Bozhelko
Respublika Belarus
220050 g. Minsk
Ul. Internatsionalnaya, 22
Prokuratura Respubliki Belarus
Generalnomu prokuroru BOZHELKU A.
BELARUS
Telegrams: Generalnomu prokuroru, Minsk, Belaru
Salutation: Dear Procurator General
Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Agolets, first name
not known
Respublika Belarus
g. Minsk
Ul. Urytskaha, 5
Ministerstvo vnutrennikh del Respubliki Belarus
Ministru Agoletsu
BELARUS
Telegrams: Ministerstvo vnutrennikh del, Minsk, Belarus
Faxes: +375 172 26-12-47
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Ivan Antonovich
Respublika Belarus
220030 g.Minsk
Ul. Lenina, 19
Ministerstvo inostrannykh del Respubliki Belarus
Ministru Antonovich I.
BELARUS
Fax: + 375 172 27-45-21
and to diplomatic representatives of Belarus accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 19 August 1997

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