2009 24/01

05__ads-lidary-4thumbnail.jpgAccording to the BelaPAN news agency, the Panel of the Political Council of the United Pro-Democratic Forces of Belarus calls upon the Belarusian authorities to allow the youth activists facing conscription to undergo an independent and impartial medical examination.

The UDF leaders stress that ‘violent drafting to the army’ has become a ‘means of political harassment of youth democratic activists’. ‘Having temporarily suspended the practice of criminal prosecution, the authorities use other means of repressions against civil and political activists, including dismissal from work, expulsion from universities, distress of property for tax violations and travel bans,’ says the special statement by the United Pro-Democratic Forces.

The statement says that young activists are usually conscripted after they have been expelled from universities, with no respect to medical examination results stating that they are not fit for military service due to health problems. Among those who have already been drafted into the army, the resolution names Zmitser Zhaleznichenka, Ales Kalita and Zmitser Salavei. ‘Secret services have interfered in the conscription of other youth activists, including Fiodar Charankou, Pavel Batuyeu, Pavel Kurianovich, Zmitser Fedaruk, Artsiom Zabaryn, Ales Krutkin and Uladzimer Siarheyeu,’ says the statement. ‘The cases of Franak Viachorka and Ivan Shyla need immediate attention. The former was not allowed to take final exams at school in 2008, the latter being illegally expelled from university.’

Shyla is to join the army on 23 January, Viachorka on 26 January. The activists have appealed the unlawful decisions, investigate the violations of the rights and ensure an independent medical examination for both of them.

The Political Council of the UDF urges the Belarusian authorities to consider the claims. Apart from that, it demands public explanations by the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Health Care on the ‘adoption of the new medical criteria of conscription’.

The UDF leaders stressed that if Belarus ‘continues using politically-motivated harassment, there could be no question about any significant changes in the field of human rights and freedoms in Belarus.’

Source: www.naviny.by and www.odsgomel.org
Ales Leta,

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