@GEsfandiari:Iranian student who sewed lips together in protests arrested: “Why am I protesting in this fashion? Why with lips closed? Why with chained feet? I sewed my lips because no one heard my cry against injustice. I chained my feet because my running didn’t take me anywhere,” explains Dariush Jalali, a student of Yasuj University in Iran, who has reportedly been arrested…[READ MORE]
VITSEBSK, Belarus — A judge in the eastern Belarusian city of Vitsebsk has ruled that Syarhey Kavalenka’s health is “satisfactory” and that the trial of the opposition activist can proceed.
As the trial got under way on February 21, relatives said they were shocked over Kavalenka’s frail appearance due to a hunger strike.
Kavalenka, who was arrested in December 2011 on charges of violating his parole conditions, was forcibly fed by prison guards in January but says he resumed his hunger strike 15 days ago…[See video]
The leader of Russia’s Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, has denounced as enemies of Russia the activists who have organized protests over the country’s disputed December elections for the State Duma lower house of parliament.
A Ukrainian women’s activist group has accused Belarusian police of kidnapping and physically abusing them after they held a public protest against President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in Minsk.
RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service reported that three members of the Femen group, held a press conference in Kyiv on December 21 to talk about their ordeal, which they said involved their abduction from Minsk by members of Belarus’s KGB to a distant forest, where they were stripped, doused with oil, and physically threatened…[READ MORE]
From charged courtrooms to “breathing bans” — with a few folk songs thrown in for good measure — RFE/RL’s Radio Svaboda reports the breaking news and backstories from Belarus.
# A court in Belarus has convicted two defendants and sentenced them to death for carrying out a Minsk subway bombing that killed 15 people and injured hundreds of others on April 11, a notable sentence as Belarus is the only country in Europe that still executes its criminals.
# Human rights activist Ales Byalyatski was sentenced by a Belarusian court to 4 1/2 years in prison for tax evasion, a verdict that has prompted international condemnation.
# Riding a bike is out. So is clapping. Now a Belarusian opposition activist has been banned from breathing deeply as a form of protest.
# The most recent episode of The Blender podcast profiles RFE/RL’s Bohdan Andrusyshyn, a.k.a. Danchyk, the American-born singer who won legions of fans for his repertoire of Belarusian and Ukrainian ballads and folk songs. Danchyk has earned an enthusiastic following among U.S. diaspora communities and thousands of Belarusians hungry to hear music in their native language, whose use had dwindled after years of russification.
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