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Young Front (Bel. ?????? ?????, ??, formally registered in the Czech Republic) is a Belarusian youth movement and the largest youth democratic organisation of Belarus.
The Young Front was founded in 1997 and incorporated not formed organizationally movement of independent youth, united in its rows tens of youth initiatives and organisations. Since that time the Young Front has passed a number of degrees of its development, having evolved from protest movement of 1996 – 1997 years in right-centrist organisation according to its political ideology.
I YF Congress was held on September 6, 1997; Paval Seviarynets (Minsk) , Siarhei Pavlenka (Grodno), Alexander Asiptsov (Mogilev) were elected to be co-Chairmen of the YF
II YF Congress held on February 10, 1999 elected Paval Seviarynets to be Chairman of the Movement.
III Congress on July 1, 2000 reelected Paval Seviarynets to be YF Chairman and with adopting a program «Young Front of Changes», laid Christian principles and the national idea in the ideological foundation of organization.
IV congress on June 19, 2002 reelected Paval Seviarynets to be YF Chairman.
V YF Congress divided in two sessions, on May 23, 2004 and January 23, 2005, elected YF co-Chairmen Bakhun Siarhei and Zmitser Dashkevich.
VI YF Congress held on March 9, 2008 adopted an updated strategy of the Young Front: Reformation of the Young Front, according to which the movement left the United Democratic Forces of Belarus (UDF). The Congress elected Zmitser Dashkevich to be Chairman of the "Young Front".
Aims and objectives
The aims of the Young Front are: the union and the education of young people on basis of the Belarusian national idea, the Christian-democratic principles, civil society building on the foundations of democracy and free markets, nurture of spiritually and physically strong generation.The main objectives of the Young Front are: the realizing of social and creative initiative among young people, mass and agitation activity in order to revive Belarusian schools, culture, language and forming young peoples' responsibility for their Motherland's fate.
Since 2005 “The Young Front” tried to get registration 5 times in the Ministry of Justice, but it was rejected 5 times. The members of the organization believe that the authorities deliberately do not register the organization in order not to have leverages of pressure on the activists by means of unconstitutional article 193-1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (sharing in the organization with no carried-out registration). Within the scope of the campaign of resistance to criminal persecution for the activity in the unregistered organization the members of the Young Front registered their own organization in Czech Republic, the documents have been submitted for the registration to Lithuania, planning to get official status in Poland and the Ukraine.
The activists of the Young Front regularly take part in unauthorized demonstrations, during which most of them are arrested by the police. The leaders of the organization and its ordinary members run the administrative persecution, the most prevailing of which are the arrest (till 25 days) and fines. Some of them were condemned: the most famous are the following – Alyaxey Shidlovski, Vadzim Labkovich, Pavel Sevyarinets, Pavel Mazhejka, Artur Finkevich, Zmitser Dashkevich.
After the presidential election campaign the criminal cases on Zmitser Dashkevich, Syargej Lisichenak, Baris Garetski and Aleg Korban were opened by Article 193-1 (establishment and management of public association, religious association or political party, which infringe on personality, rights and duties of man and did not get official registration). According to the criminal case the leader of the Young Front Zmitser Dashkevich was condemned for a year and a half of general regime colony (1 November 2006).
During a year other leaders and activists of the Young Front were condemned by this Article – Ivan Shyla (Saligorsk), Anastasia Palazhanka, Zmitser Hvedaruk, Alyaxey Yanushevski, Aleg Korban, Baris Garetski (Minsk), Anastasia Azarka (Nyasvizh), Yaraslav Grishchenya (Baranavichy), Katsyarina Salavyeva (Polatsk), Edward Zelyankov (Zhlobin). They were punished with fines or warnings.
Some criminal proceedings were brought by the same article and did not come to trial. The criminal cases were brought on the following: Kiril Atamanchik (Zhlobin), Andrey Tanyuta (Gomel), Arseni Yagorchanka (Svetlagorsk), Syargey Gudilin, Yaugeni Valkavets, Alyaksandr Chareyka (Zhodzina). The leader of the Young Front in Zhodzina Pavel Krasouski was suspected of complicity in explosions in Vitsebsk and committing two homicides. He was taken to investigative isolation ward, and in a month Pavel Krasouski was released for complete lack of evidence.
The members of the Young Front and Belarusian community consider that their friends are condemned for reasons of policy for their opposition activity. The organization held sympathetic actions with the condemned and also with those who found themselves under the criminal persecution. In solidarity with “The Young Front” such outstanding politicians as Alyaksandr Milinkevich, Anatol’ Lyabedz’ka. After the discharge Alyaksandr Kazulin became an honorable member of the Young Front.
Due to strong campaign of solidarity with the chairman of the Young Front Zmitser Dashkevich he was discharged for 1.5 months before the given time. Mentioning the willingness “to sacrifice personal freedom, health and even life in the name of his own ideals” Belarusian daily newspaper Nasha Niva named Zmitser Dashkevich “The Man Of 2007”. The activists of the “The Young Front” believe that the said before is the proof of the fact that the Belarusian regime suffered a defeat in the trials to bring to a stop the youth movement.
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