2011 18/04

The Assembly urged, inter alia, the Belarusian authorities, to release immediately all persons detained on political grounds, to stop the repression against political opponents, civil society and independent media and to conduct a transparent investigation into the abusive use of force by riot police. The Assembly also asked the Belarusian authorities to reform the electoral law, to declare a moratorium on the death penalty and to reconsider their decision to close the OSCE Office in Minsk.

To date, none of the demands of the Assembly have been met by the Belarusian authorities. Since the January 2011 Resolution, the human rights situation has not improved in the country; on the contrary, new concerns have arisen. Politically motivated trials led to sentences, including imprisonment for three to four years, against civic activists who had participated in the protest rally of 19 December 2010. Many opposition activists, journalists and politicians will face trials shortly; some of them are detained in the KGB remand prison or under house arrest.

The circumstances of the investigation into the “mass disorders” raise also serious concerns: the investigation is conducted in secret; there are allegations of torture and inhuman treatment, of refusals to provide proper legal and medical assistance, of impediments to communication between persons in custody, on the one hand, and their families and lawyers, on the other. There are also allegations of administrative pressure against lawyers of the persons accused of participation in, and organisation of, mass disorders.

It would seem that no investigation into police violence during the repression of the protest rally of 19 December has been conducted.

Repressions against the civil society and free media continue. Numerous civic activists have been interrogated; their homes have been searched. Human rights defenders and independent media have received a number of official warnings from the Ministries of Justice and Information.

The full text of the Document can be found below.

Source: spring96.org

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