Young activists reminded participants of Minsk Forum about political prisoners

Young oppositionists have come to the XI Minsk Forum with portraits of Belarusian prisoners of conscience.

Young people gathered near the building of the International educational centre where the forum is held. They carried portraits of an activist of the civil campaign “European Belarus” Alyaksandr Barazenka, arrested for participation in peaceful protest rallies of market vendors. Since October 27 he is imprisoned in the remand prison of chief directorate of Internal Affairs of Minsk city executive committee. Many participants brought portraits of those sentenced to restriction of freedom for participation in these rallies, famous person involved in of the Process of Fourteen.

“At the event which started today, representatives of the Belarusian authorities will say that “the situation with human rights is absolutely normal” in our country, that we have a democracy. However, in reality, it is not true. There are political prisoners in Belarus as before. They are the ten young men who in fact are sentenced to home arrest for participation in protest rallies of entrepreneurs. Besides, Alyaksandr Barazenka is among them. He is in prison now. Despite of highlight declarations of the regime, no liberalization is taking place in the country. Lukashenka is trying to deceive Europeans and the whole world. You cannot deal with a dictator who flings his opponents to prisons,” a young leader Yauhen Afnagel said in an interview to the Charter’97 press-centre.

Young oppositionists also believe that participants of the international conference which pays great attention to the issues of economy, it is important to know that Alyaksandr Barazenka who stays in prison, and participants of the Process of Fourteen have pay for their participation in protest rallies of entrepreneurs. Activists also believe that it is important that today their parents are losing job and means of living as they are businessmen. Belarusian authorities today are doing everything to destroy private business, opposition activists believe.

Organisers of the Minsk forum paid attention to the protest of the young activists. The head of the Minsk Forum Rainer Lindner came out to the young oppositionists and invited the young people to take part in the conference.

The Minsk Forum was founded in 1997 and is the annual international conference where issues of the European-Belarusian relations are discussed, as well as relations with neighbouring states. The large international conference is organized by the German Embassy in Minsk in cooperation with the German-Belarusian society and the German Foundation “Science and Politics” and is dedicated to issues of politics, economy as well as to culture and history.

This year about 300 participants of the Forum are to represent Belarus, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Ukraine, Finland and Sweden.