The USA are worried that the pressure and intimidation of independent mass-media and political opposition in Belarus proceed. "After some appreciable improvement in the end of 2008 we ruefully note that during the following period incessant infringements of OSCE norms took place", Ian Kelly, head of the US mission to OSCE, stated, addressing to the Permanent Council of OSCE in Vienna.
Ian Kelly mentioned as the sharpest infringements the attack on July, 8th on Artur Finkevich, the leader of «Young Belarus», after his visiting the US embassy. The activist was sprinkled with some liquid in his face, he was beaten and tumbled down on the earth. Then the assailants stole his laptop, mobile phone, keys, passport. Having no passport Artur Finkevich failed to visit the USA under the exchange program organized by US State department, the Belarusian service of Radio «Liberty» informs.
Ian Kelly mentioned also detention in Vitsebsk of Viktar Kavalenka, CCP BPF member, and his brother on July, 9th to prevent their appearance on «Slavianski Bazaar» which the president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko should have opened.
Besides, the American diplomat mentioned withdrawal of the independent newspapers «Volny Horad» and «Nasha Niva» which printed the articles about the Russian documentary film «The Godbatska» in which Alexander Lukashenko was accused of participation in disappearance of his political opponents.
The US representative was worried about the inhibition on July, 9th to the heads of not registered Union of Poles in Belarus Andzelika Orechwo and Andrzej Poczobut to meet the eurocommissioner Stefan Fule. The police also searched the car of activist Mikhas Bashura and confiscated the signatures for renaming of the Minsk and Hrodna streets in honour of Vasil Bykau.
Besides, Ian Kelly mentioned also the interrogations of the editor of charter97.org and presence till now 193 article in the Criminal Code of Belarus which provides the criminal responsibility for activity on behalf of not registered organization.
«These cases are only small part of the numerous facts testifying to regular increase of pressure and intimidation of independent mass-media and political opposition in Belarus. We continue to urge the government of Belarus to reconsider the laws on mass-media, freedom of assembly and associations, and also about political parties, and their realization to adjust them to the OSCE obligations… According to our obligations to OSCE we are ready to co-operate with the government of Belarus in this case», Ian Kelly stated.