Belarusian opposition sets up Warsaw bureau

The Belarusian opposition is setting up an information bureau in Warsaw publicise news about the situation in the ex-Soviet republic.

The bureau provide help to those repressed by what they see as the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko and provide a forum for Belarusian activists to address the opinion formers in Poland.

Many events are planned in Warsaw in "solidarity with free Belarus" following the disputed 19 December elections. A meeting with opposition activists, who were arrested by the police during demonstrations in Minsk against what is claimed to have been rigged presidential elections, is taking place in the "Grawitacja" student club tonight.

The meeting has been organized by the NZS student union at Warsaw University.

Among those billed to appear is MP Pawel Poncyliusz, who was an OSCE observer during the recent elections.

Student Viktria Khakimava will recall the dramatic events that took place during the brutal police crackdown against demonstrators on the night of 19 December. (kk)

Culture vs. Democracy

Meanwhile, Polish Radio 2 is hosting the "Listen to Belarus - culture vs. dictatorship" concert in Warsaw on Sunday.

The bill of fare includes poetry by Uladimir Nikalayev, a Belarusian poet who says he has been persecuted by the Lukashenko regime, with music arrangements by Belarusian artists.

The aim of the event is to turn the spotlight on Belarusian culture, to which the Polish public has limited access.

Renowned Polish graphic artist Andrzej Pagowski has designed a poster and a sticker specially for the occasion. Proceeds from their sale as well as the sale of tickets for the concert will be handed over to an independent Belarusian weekly to support the culture of Belarus. (kk)


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