First I wish to thank Stefania, who wrote about Mr. Vashkevich's situation in her blog. She has a wonderful blog devoted to freedom, its URL is http://freethoughts.splinder.com/.
Reader Programmer Craig asked about more information about the case. I haven't found any reports in English; in fact, it is exactly this silence that is dangerous because if nothing is said about an event, it will remain a non-event to the world and nothing will be done about it. There are is very little talk even in the Bulgarian public space. I learned about Mr. Vashkevich's refused asylum from a reader's letter in the Pro & Anti weekly newspaper. The only report I found in the "big" media was in Trud (the most popular Bulgarian daily newspaper) from May 2, 2006, author Albena Bachvarova, title We have allegedly refused asylum to a Moonist from Belarus. The beginning of the article in Bulgarian can be read at http://www.trud.bg/Default.asp?statid=30963&rubr=0&izd=2&fsize=&swidth=800&tr=1&im=05&id=02&iy=2006. I am translating it to English:
"Bulgaria is refusing political asylum to a dissident from Belarus, human rights activists alarmed. The victim is Michail Vashkevich, fighter against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko.
According to Vashkevich, on March 28, 2006 he received refusal to his request of a political asylum. The refusal is issued by the Asylum Committee of the Vice President Angel Marin. This refusal could endanger Mr. Vashkevich's life because he could be deported to Belarus where he could be killed. The dissident explains that the President's administration decided his fate days after the elections in Belarus were again won by Lukashenko, and claims that the refusal has something to do with Lukashenko's victory..."
Only this part of the report is available online, and I haven't the Trud copy from May 2. I don't know whether Mr. Vashkevich is really a Moonist, nor do I care, but you see that for Trud this fact (if a fact at all) seems so important that they have put it in the title. The message is clear: why to care about the freedom and life of a Moonist?
The source I cited in my previous post, http://mediatimesreview.com/february06/Putinizm.php, is unofficial - a participant in a Web forum. I'll translate a part of it as well:
"...Right from the moment Lukashenko was "elected", he began to deal with the opposition in Belarus. A number of opposition leaders disappeared. Vashkevich escaped to Bulgaria where he had many difficulties to obtain political asylum. Finally, our previous Government granted him asylum till 2008. From Bulgaria, Vashkevich continued his pro-democracy activism, using letters and the Internet. Presumably to appease the Belarussian KGB, the President of free and independent Bulgaria Georgi Parvanov on April 11, 2006 issued order No. 94-01-173 - a refusal to grant asylum to Vashkevich. The order cannot be appealed and so hands Vashkevich to Lukashenko. Vashkevich has turned to Western ambassadors in Bulgaria for help... It is clear that Lukashenko and Parvanov are in a hurry (to deport Vashkevich) before Bulgaria joins the EU, because in an EU country such acts are unacceptable..."