Two More Former Bombing Suspects Released in Belarus

Minsk, 18 July: Two more suspects for involvement in the 4 July concert bombing in Minsk, Yuryy Karetnikaw and Mikhail Sharamet, were released on Friday evening [18 July], according to human rights defenders.

Mr Karetnikaw, a member of the Council of the Belarusian People's Front and leader of an unregistered organization called Pravy Alyans (Right Alliance), was arrested on 16 July. He stayed outside of the country from 29 June through 6 July. Mr Karetnikaw is on the list of parliamentary nominees of the United Democratic Forces.

Mr Sharamet was arrested on 17 July. Messrs. Karetnikaw and Sharamet were reportedly ordered to appear before investigators at short notice. Four more suspects in the case among opposition activists, Miraslaw Lazowski, Syarzhuk Chyslow, Ihar Korsak and Viktar Lyashchynski, were freed earlier in the day.

Some other detainees were reportedly freed on Thursday evening, including Tatstsyana Pyakun, a student of Belarusian State University. On 12 July, the KGB released Syarhey Vysotski, leader of the unregistered Belarusian Freedom Party, United Civic Party member Alyaksandr Syarheyenka and Pavel Kuryanovich, a member of the European Belarus association.

The police and other agencies give no information about arrests and releases in the case.

According to human rights defenders, at least two opposition activists still remain in custody on suspicion of involvement in the bombing.

Originally published by Belapan news agency, Minsk, in English 1934 18 Jul 08.