Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Belarus Closes Private Radio Station + Travel Ban

Posted by Info on 13/01/2011

Belarussian authorities on Wednesday closed down a popular private radio station, accusing it of broadcasting calls for “extremist behavior.”

The move against the radio station, Avtoradio, follows the re-election of Lukashenko on Dec. 19 amid huge street protests by several opposition groups that riot police broke up.
Avtoradio’s chief, Yury Bazan, said in an interview that a few days before Dec. 19 the station had broadcast political calls by presidential candidates Vladimir Neklyayev and Andrei Sannikov, two of Lukashenko’s challengers who are now in jail.
Four presidential candidates who ran against Lukashenko are still being held after the mass arrests of political activists and dissidents that have been condemned by the United States and its European allies.

Belarusian border police blocked travel to Europe by Milana Mikhalevich, the wife of a senior member of the Belarusian opposition now in jail one day after she defied a KGB order to refrain from speaking out on his fate. Police detained Milana Mikhalevich for at least two hours before handing her a court order banning her travel abroad pending the outcome of a trial of her husband.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that he would no longer oppose reinstating European Union sanctions against Belarus. The source, who attended a meeting between the two leaders on Wednesday, said Berlusconi assured Merkel that he would cease blocking Germany’s push to impose a travel ban on key members of Lukashenko’s government.

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