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Jul 25, 2012

Join the call for the immediate release of anti-nuclear campaigner detained in Minsk

by Denis Burke — last modified Jul 25, 2012 11:05 AM

Demand the immediate release of anti-nuclear activist Andrey Ozharkovskiy, detained in Belarus


Nuclear plant

GLOBAL 2000/ Friends of the Earth Austria - Three activists were arrested in Minsk when they left their home/office on the day that Russian prime minister Medvedev arrived in Minsk to sign a contract for the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Belarus. 

Four activists were sentenced, three of whom were detained. Russian nuclear physicist and journalist Andrey Ozharkovskiy, Belarusian journalist Tatyana Novikova, manager of the environmental organization EcoDom Irina Sukhy and human rights observer Michael Matskevich are openly against the plans to build a nuclear power plant near Astravetz close to the Lithuanian border.

Although Novikova and Matskevich have since been released, Ozharkovskiy remains in custody.

GLOBAL 2000 have cooperated with the aforementioned activists for years and know them as dedicated, non-violent people. Their activities are consistent with the right to free expression as outlined in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. GLOBAL 2000 call on the Belarusian government:

  • to immediately free Andrey Ozharkovskiy,
  • to drop all charges against all four campaigners,
  • to explain its position on the arrests,
  • to respect freedom of speech now and in the future.

Sign the letter to the Belarusian embassy in Vienna on the GLOBAL 2000 website (External Link: Information in German, scroll down for letter in English)


More information

Anti-nuclear activists detained under suspicious circumstances in Belarus

by Denis Burke — last modified Jul 25, 2012 11:06 AM

GLOBAL 2000 (Friends of the Earth Austria) protests at the Belarusian embassy and called on Austrian Foreign Minister Spindelegger to support their calls for the right to freedom of expression.

Vienna (July 24, 2012) - The Austrian environmental organization GLOBAL 2000 calls on the authoritarian Belarussian regime to immediately release unjustly detained nuclear physicist and journalist Andrey Ozharkovskiy.  Ozharkovskiy was arrested with three other activists last Wednesday while peacefully protesting the signing of a loan agreement between Russia and Belarus for a new nuclear plant in Belarus. His three colleagues have now been released, but Ozharkovskiy remains in custody. The reasons for his ongoing detention remain unclear. GLOBAL 2000 has already protested and demanded that the Belarusian Embassy in Vienna immediately provide clarification of the circumstances of their detained fellow nuclear activists.

Klaus Kastenhofer, CEO of GLOBAL 2000 says that the Belarusian Embassy have not felt the need to explain the undemocratic actions of their government. He requested more information on the arrests directly from the Belarussian authorities but his request was denied. GLOBAL 2000 suspects that the arrest of Andrey Ozharkovskiy and the others (Irina Sukhy, Tatiana Novikova and Michael Matskevich) is a further attempt to intimidate the wider anti-nuclear movement in Belarus.

The first nuclear power plant to be built with Russian funding is planned for an area close to Astravets Belarus (Grodno region), near the Lithuanian border within the next eight years. There are huge concerns within the EU about the construction of new nuclear power plants in an area where Chernobyl's catastrophic effects still have significant repurcussions. “Proactive protests concerning the threat of nuclear disaster have to be taken extremely seriously after the huge meltdowns at Chernobyl and Fukushima. Fukushima has demonstrated very clearly what happens if doubts about this high-risk technology are suppressed.” Kastenhofer concluded.

Further information:
GLOBAL 2000 / Friends of the Earth Austria
Press Officer: Mag. Lydia Matzka-Saboi  00 43 699/14 2000 26
CEO: Dr. Klaus Kastenhofer          00 43 69914 2000 32