2010 21/07

Article 40 of the Belarusian Constitution vests every Belarusian citizen with a right to appeal to public bodies which are obliged to consider the appeal and give an answer on the merits. The Constitutional Court is no exception; its primary duty is to uphold the constitutional guarantees of everyone. Continue reading »

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2010 20/07

The municipality of the Italian city of Genoa granted the status of honorary citizen to Ales Bialiatski, Chairperson of the Human Rights Center Viasna. The Italian society expressed thereby its concern with the situation of human rights in Belarus, particularly the use of the death penalty, restriction of the freedom of the media and civil and political rights. Continue reading »

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2010 19/07

On 13 July, the Chyhunachny District Procuracy of Vitsebsk started a check-up of the materials concerning a Vitsebsk activist Siarhei Beliazeka that were received from the Presidential Administration.

Mr. Beliazeka is suspected of violating Article 368 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus, ‘insult of president’, that envisages up to two years of imprisonment. Continue reading »

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2010 17/07

At a meeting of Belarusian human rights defenders there arose a discussion concerning the appropriateness of submitting individual complaints to the UN Human Rights Committee, taking shape in two main approaches – pessimistic and optimistic. Without denying the usefulness of the protection instrument in general, the pessimists argued that the Committee’s ability is extremely limited, the cases are long, besides the government of Belarus considers the decisions not binding. Accordingly, there is no need to resort extensively to the filing of complaints to the UN Human Rights Committee and to use this mechanism only in exceptional cases. Continue reading »

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2010 15/07

The Belarusian authorities must bring the defamation articles of the Penal Code in line with the international standards of press freedom and freedom of expression. The appeal by human rights defenders was made today at the roundtable “The situation in the media space of Belarus on the eve of the presidential campaign: Realities and Prospects”. Continue reading »

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2010 15/07

On 12 July, human rights defender Siarei Ustsinau lodged with the Leninski District Court of Minsk a claim against the Presidential Administration in connection with the enforcement of Decree #60. According to the activist, some provisions of this decree violate the right to privacy. Continue reading »

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2010 07/06

The amendments to the Belarusian election code provide a mixed response to the recommendations made by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission.

This is said in a joint legal opinion of the two organizations released on June 4, Regnum news agency reports. Continue reading »

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2010 19/05
Jan Lapicki

Jan Lapicki

Having created a problem, the executive committee has been unable to solve it on its own. At the same time, the administration of Zhodzina town education department has not responded to the request of the parents of Yanka Lapitski who urged it to foster a rapid resolution of the Zhodzina problem in a positive way. Continue reading »

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2010 22/03
За кратамі ў "Дзень Волі", А.Камароўскі

In custodial sentence on the Freedom Day, А.Каmarouski (2009)

On the eve of Freedom Day on March 25 the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva received another comment in the communication exchange with the UN Human Rights Committee on the complaint by Aliaksandr Kamarouski (Zhodzina). Continue reading »

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2010 24/02
Юры Шары, Жодзінскі выканкам

Yury Shary, Zhodzina executive committee

On 24.02.2010 between 09-00 and 10-00, Juvenile Commission of Zhodzina executive committee held a meeting, which was attended under the threat of administrative sanctions by the parents of the Belarusian-speaking schoolboy Yanka Lapitski, who due to a series of decisions by Zhodzina executive authorities lost the opportunity to continue his education in Zhodzina gymnasium № 1 in Belarusian. Continue reading »

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2010 16/02
Cуд без судзьдзі ... Рашэньне - без вырашэньня

Court - without justice. Decision - ...

As it became known, as soon as on 11.02.2010 at 10-30, the day after the pre-trial proceedings, practically on the fly, without even letting the applicants to undress after entering the court room, Judge of Zhodzina Town Court Tatsiana Tratsiuk announced her final decision. Continue reading »

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2010 10/02
Жодзінскі суд

The complainants are going to file an appeal in the case of the protection of the right to peaceful assembly in Zhodzina, following a negative decision by the Acting Chief Judge Tatsiana Tratsiuk issued on 27.01.2010. Continue reading »

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2010 06/02
Адзьдзел Адукацыі, Жодзіна

Zhodzina Town Department of Education

On 10.02.2010 is due the next scheduled meeting of Zhodzina Court on the complaint by the parents of Yanka Lapitski against the misdeeds of the officials of the executive committee of Zhodzina who ceased Belarusian-language education of their son at Gymnasium № 1 of Zhodzina.

Meanwhile, on 04.02.2010 Yanka Lapitski’s parents received a letter from the school, dated 14.01.2010. As can be seen, the correspondence was strangely unable to reach the address in Zhodzina for entire 20 days (!?).

Continue reading »

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2010 27/01
Жодзінскі гарадзкі суд

Zhodzina town court

On 27.01.2010 from 10-00 to 11-30 Zhodzina Town Court held the last hearing on the protection of the right to peaceful assembly in Zhodzina, where over the past 9 years, not a single mass event, applied for by the citizens, human rights activists or non-governmental organizations and political actors, was permitted.

The court sessions was held by Deputy Chair of the Court Judge Tatsiana Tratsiuk. The executive committee was represented by lawyer Volha Verhel.

Continue reading »

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2010 26/01
Васіль Грышчанка, Жодзінскі выканкам
Vasil Hryshchanka, Zhodzina executive committee

On January 26, 2010 from 14-30 to 16-30 Zhodzina Court chaired by Judge Tatsiana Tratsiuk held the second preliminary meeting on the complaint by Zhodzina human rights defender Aliaksei Lapitski, against the prohibiting of the peaceful mass action, applied for by him and Sviatlana Lapitskaya on 25.11.2009 for 10.12.2009 on the International Human Rights Day by the local executive committee. Continue reading »

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2010 23/01
Суд горада Жодзіна

Zhodzina town court

On 21.01.2010 the office of Zhodzina Court Deputy Judge Tatsiana Tratsiuk hosted a conversation with the parties on the complaint of Yanka Lapitski’s parents against the actions of municipal authorities, whose decision № 928 of 23.06.2009 suspended the Belarusian-language education of their son in gymnasium № 1 with a forced transfer of the Belarusian-speaking boy to a Russian-language class. Continue reading »

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2010 21/01

At 10-00 a.m. 21.01.2010 Zhodzina Court deputy chair Tatziana Tratsiuk scheduled a meeting (conversation) on the complaint by the parents of Yanka Lapitski, who, after a discriminatory decision № 928 by Zhodzina executive committee, was forcibly deprived of the right to continue secondary school education in the mother language at Zhodzina’s only Gymnasium № 1, where he studied since 2002 under a Belarusian-language curriculum with a priority study of English. Continue reading »

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2010 19/01
Жодзіна

Zhodzina

The first meeting on the complaint by Zhodzina human rights defenders against the local executive committee’s ban on peaceful mass events, applied for on 25.11.2009 for 10.12.2009 on the International Human Rights Day, was held on 18.01.2010 in the office of deputy chair of Zhodzina Court, Judge Tatsiana Tratsiuk. Continue reading »

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2010 18/01
AAN

UN

On 25.12.2009 the UN HRC received another individual complaint of violations of the right to association (Art.22 of the ICCPR) by Belarus (drawn up by human rights activist Siarhei Ustsinau).

One must admit that last year was exemplary in terms of manifestations of the real trends in the deteriorating situation of civil rights and freedoms in Belarus. Continue reading »

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2010 14/01
Уладзімер Кацора, Гомель

Uladzimir Katsora, Homel

Homel activist of the Movement “For Freedom” Uladzimir Katsora appealed to public authorities with a demand to implement the requirement of the decision by the UN Human Rights Committee on the reestablishment of the public association “Civil Initiatives”. Continue reading »

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2010 10/01
Віктар Сіліч, Жодзіна

Viktar Silich, Zhodzina

The resident of Zhodzina Viktar Silich, protected his right to freedom of conscience and belief, free entry or non-entry in the official trade union. With the support of local human rights defenders, he made his company’s officials, through performing the Labor Code of the Republic of Belarus, to pay him bonuses properly like to any other employee.

How did the events develop? What was the reason for the violation of law? And what in reality helped improve the situation for the better at the stage of non-judicial proceedings? Continue reading »

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2010 10/01

ЯК АКАЗАЛАСЯ, ДОСТУП ДА НЕЗАЛЕЖНАЕ ПРЭСЫ Ў МЕНСКУ – ПЫТАНЬНЕ ДАГЭТУЛЬ АДКРЫТАЕ … As it turns out, access to independent media in Belarus is still an open question … Continue reading »

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2010 06/01
Аляксей Лапіцкі, Жодзіна

Аlaksiej Lapicki, Zhodzina

The Zhodzina human rights defender Aliaksei Lapitski, as a continuation of correspondence on the collective claims from the residents of the ‘Chernobyl House’ registered today, 05.01.2010, his appeal to local authorities in the executive committee of Zhodzina. Continue reading »

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2009 18/12
Tatsiana Shaputska

Tatsiana Shaputska

Friends and colleagues!

On December 5, 2009 Tatsiana Shaputska was expelled from the Faculty of Law of Belarusian State University.
The decision on expulsion was passed by the Rector of BSU, academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor Siarhei Ablameika. The official press is replete with explanations that the reason for the decision to expel Tatsiana Shaputska was her failure to attend the classes for two days as well as breaking the travel rules for students during the academic year. Continue reading »

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2009 16/12
Internet censure

Cenzura u Internecie

Nasha Niva newspaper received a draft decree On measures for revising the use of the national segment of the World Wide Web.

Under this document, control over web-sites in Belarus is to be carried out in accordance with to the procedure prescribed by the Council of Ministers on approval of the special service, the Operational and Analytics Centre of the Presidential Administration (OAC).

Under the draft decree, the OAC is to control the internet providers of the country. Continue reading »

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2009 16/12
Alaksandar Buhvostau

Alaksandar Buhvostau

As said to the BelaPAN by the leader of the organizing committee of the Belarusian Party of Workers Aliaksandr Bukhvostau, on 15 December the Supreme Court of Belarus didn’t grant the lawsuit of the party concerning its’ non-registration by the Ministry of Justice.

’The verdict was quite predictable’, said Bukhvostau. ‘In fact, all our tactics of work with the Ministry of Justice was near miss. We refused to submit the additional documents that we believed were unnecessary for registering the party.’ Continue reading »

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2009 16/12
Uladzimier Kacora

Uladzimier Kacora

Homel Savetski Tax Inspection ordered Homel member of the For Freedom movement Uladzimer Katsora to pay 10 million roubles for the Civil Initiatives public association, closed down in 2003. Meanwhile, the activist says he has declared his retirement from the position of the head of liquidation commission of Civil Initiatives. Continue reading »

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2009 11/12

On 9 December in Minsk the civil initiative Human Rights Alliance announced the names of the holders of its yearly prize for human rights protection. The festive event was attended by about 50 people including journalists, politicians and civil activists.

It is the second time the prize is awarded. Last year its holders were the human rights defender Barys Zvoskau, the lawyer Tamara Sidarenka and the journalist Siamion Pechanko. Continue reading »

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2009 11/12

Human rights are prohibited to hold pickets or any other actions on the International Day of Human Rights, 10 December.

Groundless refusals were given to the civil activists who applied for authorization of human rights actions in Baranavichy, Barysau, Biaroza, Homel, Hrodna, Mahiliou, Mazyr, Navapolatsk, Orsha, Smarhon, Vitsebsk and some other towns. In Brest the authorities prohibited holding a picket, but instead permitted a rally at the Locomotive stadium. Continue reading »

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2009 11/12
Дзень Правоў Чалавеку, Менск

Human Rights Day, Minsk

On the International Human Rights Day representatives of the Belarusian human rights community passed to the Presidential Administration a petition calling to abolish the death penalty as a kind of punishment that contradicts to the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution and international human rights treaties.

The member of Belarusian Helsinki Committee Hary Pahaniaila, the members of the Foundation for Legal Technologies Development Alena Tankachova and Volha Smalianka, the member of the Center for Human Rights Raisa Mikhailouskaya, the members of Human Rights Center Viasna Zmitser Salauyou and Iryna Toustsik, the member of the Committee for Protection of the Repressed Salidarnasts Andrei Sushko and the human rights defender from Brest Raman Kisliak came to the Presidential Administration. Continue reading »

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2009 02/12
193logo

Article 193-1

Article 193-1 of the Criminal Code may be decriminalized in the near future, says Mr. Huminski, head of the Standing Commission for National Security of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus, in reply to a complaint by Brest human rights lawyer Uladzimir Malei. Continue reading »

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2009 02/12
Valancin Stafanovicz, Miensk

Valiantsin Stefanovich

‘Legally, no referendum is needed for the abolition of the death penalty,’ says human rights activist and Viasna’s lawyer Valiantsin Stefanovich, commenting President Continue reading »

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2009 02/12
"Бульбашъ"

“Bulbash”

On February 23, 2009 Vitsebsk resident Siarhei Kavalenka appealed to the National Intellectual Property Center of the State Committee on Science and Technology, expressing his opinion and offered to withdraw the certificate number 25281 issued to the trademark “Bulbash”. Continue reading »

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2009 01/12
Уладзімер Лабковіч, Менск

Uladzimier Labkovich, Меnsk

Members of the House of Representatives are working on changes to electoral law. The new bill was presented to them by chair of the Central Election Commission Lidzia Yarmoshyna. In case all the amendments and changes are approved by the Deputies, then two laws are 40 articles of the Electoral Code will have to be corrected.
Continue reading »

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2009 01/12

Палітвязьні ў Беларусі

The Amnesty International human rights organization has issued a statement calling President Lukashenka ‘to immediately and unconditionally release Artsyom Dubski, to lift the restrictions on Tatyana Tishkevich, Alyaksei Bondar, Mikhail Kryvau, Maxim Dashuk and Ales Charnyshou and to allow the three who have fled to return to Belarus without risk of further charges being brought against them.’ Continue reading »

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2009 30/11
Леанід Судалека, Гомель

Леанід Судалека, Гомель

An activist of the Movement “For Freedom” received a negative reply to his proposal to publish in the local newspaper information about the contest dedicated to the day of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Continue reading »

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2009 28/11
Тамара Шчапёткіна, Бяроза

Tamara Shchapiotkina, Biaroza

Mrs. Tamara Shchapiotkina, independent journalist from the town of Biaroza, Brest region, has received an official warning by Brest Regional Prosecutor’s Office for interviewing on behalf of Radio Racyja. The journalist says the warning is groundless. However, Mrs. Shchapiotkina was told she might be prosecuted in case another warning was issued in future. Continue reading »

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2009 26/11
ГАА, Жодзіна

The Town Department of Education, Zhodzina

And the common term “telephone law” does not even fit here…

This is what happened…

Less than two weeks had passed, after the parents of Yanka Lapitski manage the return their own Belarusian-speaking son to full Belarusian-language training in Zhodzina Gymnasium № 1, but the efforts of the Director Henadz Karshun again deteriorated the situation and almost threw it back.
Continue reading »

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2009 21/11
Уладзімер Арлоў

Uladzimer Arlou

The meeting of readers with a well-known Belarusian historian and writer which is planned for November 20 in Salihorsk is at risk.

Ideology workers of Salihorsk city executive committee decided that the evening with the writer will have political undertones, “Radio Racyja” informs. Continue reading »

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2009 19/11
Валер Рыбчанка, Гомель

Valer Rybchanka, Homel

Judge Vasil Biahun of Homel Regional Court has ruled to reverse a 700,000-rouble fine to Valery Rybchanka, local opposition Communist leader, his civil case being sent for reconsideration at Homel Chyhunachny Court. Continue reading »

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2009 19/11
AAN

AAN

16 November was the deadline for the Belarusian authorities to provide their comments on the complaint submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee by the family of the disappeared Anatol Krasouski. The complaint submitted by Iryna and Valerya Krasouskis was registered by the Committee on 16 November 2008, its copy being sent to the respondent, www.ciwr.org reports.
The Belarusian authorities were initially to respond to the complaint by 16 May 2009. Continue reading »

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2009 19/11
Partyja BHK

Partyja BCD

Organizers of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party have stated about mass pressure on activists of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party with a demand to withdraw their signatures under the founding document for party creation. Continue reading »

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2009 19/11
Alaksiej Lapicki, Zhodzina

Alaksiej Lapicki

I cannot but express my thoughts and attitudes about the very laconic and aptly remark by the known in Belarus and far beyond human rights defender, my friend, Ales Bialiatski.

His findings are absolutely accurate and indisputable!

In fact, freedom of speech, thought, information dissemination, as well as freedom of association and peaceful assembly … are only real prerequisites for the normal existence of civil society, the existence of different public stances and public dialogue in it. This free space and a public pluralism of ideas are essential for providing conditions for a meaningful choice in society. Continue reading »

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2009 17/11

The main justice department of Hrodna oblast executive committee denied the state registration to the Cultural-educational association ‘Golden Lion’ from Slonim.

The registering organ quoted as the reason for the non-registration the incompatibility of certain provisions of the organization charter with the law, including the norms concerning the order of amending the charter and appealing against the decision of the association’s organs. The officials of the justice board also state that as far as the phrase ‘Golden Lion’ is not explained in the charter, the association name contradicts to this document. Continue reading »

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2009 17/11

Ales` Bialacki, Miensk

Ales` Bialacki, Miensk

Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the head of “Viasna” human rights centre Ales Bialiatski has commented to charter97.org website on the decision of the EU to extend and “Freeze” sanctions against Belarusian officials.

“Demands of the EU to the Belarusian authorities are absolutely justified, but it is obvious that the time has come for Minsk to take some more unambiguous steps as an answer to these demands. So far in their talks with the European Union the Belarusian reminds a girl who is making curtseys, bowing, but does no real actions. Continue reading »

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2009 16/11

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has received from the state organs of Belarus explanations concerning the individual communication on behalf of the death convict Vasil Yuzepchuk.

In the information of the Belarusian government it is stated that the communication was illegal as Yuzepchuk hasn’t depleted the national means of defense. It is also stated that at present Yuzepchuk’s petition for clemency is considered by the president. Belarus also refutes the fact of violation of Article 6 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (right to life), as the verdict was issued in conformity with the Belarusian legislation. Continue reading »

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2009 16/11

Eastern Partnership Forum

At the forum in Brussels Belarusian civil activists disseminated a statement about rights and freedom violations in our country.

The first session of the Civil Society Forum in the framework of the Eastern Partnership policy of the EU is held in Brussels on November 16-17. The conference is organised by Sweden, the country presiding in the EU, the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). About 240 public associations from 6 partner countries: Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine are taking part in the meeting. Continue reading »

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2009 14/11

Amnamnesty International

Amnamnesty International

The human rights organization <i>Amnesty International </i> considers Ihar Koktysh, who is kept in a detention center in Simferopol waiting for the extradition to Belarus, to be a prisoner of conscience.

30-year old Ihar Koktysh is accused by Belarusian prosecutors of committing an intentional murder. He has been in a detention center in Ukraine since 25 June 2007, waiting for the extradition, RFE/RL reports.

Amnesty International called on the Ukraine authorities not to return Ihar Koktysh to Belarus. Continue reading »

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2009 14/11

Сяргей Гоўша, Баранавічы

Siarhei Housha

Finally the human rights defender from Baranavichy Siarhei Housha got an answer to his inquiries to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus about who must implement the decisions of the UN Human Rights Committee.

In particular, Siarhei Housha asked the MFA why the Belarusian state didn’t implement the Committee’s decision concerning the Human Rights Center Viasna and why the state still hasn’t restored his right to association. According to Mr. Housha, if this question is beyond the MFA competency, the officials were obliged to tell to who he must apply.  Continue reading »

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2009 14/11

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs answered the address of human rights defenders concerning the registration of the death convict Vasil Yuzepchuk’s communication by the UN Human Rights Committee.

‘We inform you that the official note of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the registration of the individual communication on behalf of Yuzepchuk V.L. has been submitted to the competent state organs,’ is stated in the MFA answer, signed by the deputy minister S.Aleinik.  Continue reading »

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2009 14/11

The General Prosecutor’s Office found the activities of Santa Clauses on New Year’s Eve illegal.

The group of Santa Clauses will be brought to responsibility if it will be established that they take systematic part in an unregistered organization, says the letter of the General Prosecutor’s Office.

Bear in mind that on 15 October 15 Belarusian human rights activists dressed as Santa Clauses and Snow Ladies came to the Generals Prosecutor’s Office and handed in a petition where it was stated that all of them were members of the unregistered association of Santa Clauses. Continue reading »

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2009 12/11

Генадзь Каршун, Жодзіна

Генадзь Каршун, Жодзіна

Despite the resumption of Belarusian-language education of Yanka Lapitski, the pressure on his parents in Zhodzina still continues. And, as it can easily be seen, with renewed vigor. Its new direct and active performer is the administration of Gymnasium #1, which apparently was not ready for such a speedy return of the Belarusian-speaking student to the educational institution.

For example, on Monday, 09/11/2009, after the force lost of a whole quarter of studies (due to the action-inaction of officials from Zhodzina and Minsk) by the son of Zhodzina human rights defenders, members of the HRC Viasna, Aliaksei and Sviatlana Lapitskis, Yanka returned to Gymnasium #1. Continue reading »

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2009 09/11
Мікалай Гаўрыленка, Лельчыцы

Мікalai Haurylenka, Lelchycy

Belarusian court fined the human rights activist Leanid Svetsik 30 million Belarusian rubles (about 12 thousand dollars). The sentence was imposed for that he had supposedly sent to various residents of the city of Vitsebsk threatening letters on behalf of the unregistered organization “Russian National Unity”. But every conscientious person in Vitsebsk, familiar with the substance of the issue will tell you that Mr. Svetsik could not do so, only because he provided legal assistance to all people who received such letters by mail. Continue reading »

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2009 06/11

How long and under what conditions it is difficult to say, because so far his parents have not received any written responses to their complaints to Zhodzina executive committee and Gymnasium # 1.

However, the student who was forced to miss an academic quarter, has recently been invited to school # 1 to continue his Belarusian-language studies… Continue reading »

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2009 06/11
Памяць продкаў пад забаронаю, Вілейка

Verdict to Vileika activists left unchanged.

On November 6 Minsk regional court dismissed the complaint by the pro-democratic movement activists from Vileika region Aiaksei Siudak, Uladzimir Maliarchuk and Ales Narkevich.
Continue reading »

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2009 05/11

Беларускі Кангрэс Дэмакратычных Прафсаюзаў The Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions filed an unprecedented lawsuit on the elimination of adverse discrimination of members of independent trade unions in the sphere of labor relations.

The lawsuit was filed to Chashniki district court of Vitsebsk oblast for protection of Aliaksei Habryel, leader of the primary unit of the Free trade union of workers of Lukoml hydropower plant, whose labor contract was not extended by the plant administration. Continue reading »

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2009 05/11
Paval Sapielka, Miensk

Paval Sapielka, Miensk

The lawyer Pavel Sapelka joined the campaign Human Rights Defenders against Death Penalty and signed the petition to the Belarusian authorities with the demand to abolish the death penalty in the country.

The death penalty is murder. Manslaughter by a man remains a murder irrespective of the way it is referred to by the state and the society, be it the ‘death penalty’, ‘extreme penalty’ or ‘social justice’ – murder stays murder. A civilized state must admit that the death penalty is a vestige of the past. Continue reading »

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2009 04/11
Сурган і Каваленка, Гарадок

T. Surhan and S.Kavalenka, Vitsebsk

Judge of the Kastrychnitski district Edgar Martyrasian fined Vitsebsk activists Taras Surhan and Siarhei Kavalenka 700 000 rubles (about $255) each.

The oppositionists were fined for marching along Vitsebsk Street with white-red-white flags on 2 November, the day when the Ancestors’ Day, Dziady is celebrated in Belarus. The activists were charged with holding an unsanctioned rally, RFE/RL informs. Continue reading »

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2009 04/11
Пятро Кузьняцоў, Гомель

Piotr Kuzniatsou, Homel

The owners of the Belarusian passports are under state protection. So it is written in the document itself. However, the Belarusian reality is built on lies. It often happens that the Belarusian passport is a passport to hell.
Vitebsk human rights activist Leanid Svetsik was sentenced to a fine of about 12 thousand dollars! It was several months ago, but for some reason it is now when this has to be pronounced. Continue reading »

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2009 02/11
AAN

The UN

According to a Brest human rights activist Raman Kisliak, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has registered an individual complaint by a For Freedom movement member Inha Abramava. The complaint was submitted on 22 December 2008, after a number of unsuccessful appeals against the activist’s detention in Brest Leninski Police Department Temporary Detention Facility, where the woman was reportedly subjected to sex discrimination, which is prohibited by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Continue reading »

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2009 02/11

Tatsiana Bublikava

The independent journalists Tatsiana Bublikava and Aleh Ryzhkou were detained in Homel.

As the website baj.by reports, the incident took place on 30 October, when the journalists were filming an interview in Homel streets. They asked passers-by their opinions on swine flu epidemic.

As Tatsiana Bublikava said, policemen Maksim Ihnatchyk and Ihar Tarasau came up to them and demanded to show a permit for shooting. Police officers remained unsatisfied with journalist certificates and explanations of the journalists that they were fulfilling the editor’s task and didn’t need a permit to shoot in the place.
Continue reading »

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2009 01/11
Беларусі ПРАЎНЫ ПАРТАЛ

Belarusian LEGAL PORTAL

The Belarusian Legal Portal (by.prava-by.info) several appeals of support for civil society activists, individuals and human rights defenders harassed by the authorities. Continue reading »

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2009 30/10

Leanid Marhotka, Salihorsk

Leanid Marhotka, Salihorsk

A number of Salihorsk youth activists are facing several million roubles of fines. The Young Front activist Ilya Shyla has been appealing the sentence in different judicial bodies for over a month and it is most likely that he soon will submit a complaint to the UN Committee on Human Rights.

The representative of Belarusian Helsinki Committee in Salihorsk region Leonid Markhotka expressed his opinion regarding the practice of substituting political arrests by huge fines. Continue reading »

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2009 30/10
Леанід Судаленка, Гомель

Leanid Sudalenka, Homel

Homel civil and political figures on the criminal prosecution of Leanid Svetsik

Leanid Sudalenka, Chair of the Legal Initiative’s Homel office, human rights activist, Homel
- The Vitsebsk human rights activist Leanid Svetsik was convicted of sending letters with threats on behalf of the unregistered ultra-right organization RNE (Russian National Unity). The offence is prosecuted under Article 130-1 of the Criminal Code of Belarus (fomenting racial, national or religious hatred). As far as I know, Svetsik’s work was to render legal assistance to the receivers of the letters and that was his only fault. Now he will have to pay a huge fine of 11,000 USD, which roughly equals to a 3-year’s average salary in Belarus. It looks like the State has made up its mind to earn money on the human rights activist and his big family. I am sure that Leanid Svetsik will find a decent way out of the complicated situation, for he has not admitted the verdict yet. He is going to appeal it, therefore he considers himself innocent! Continue reading »

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2009 29/10

The mother of Andrei Zhuk, who was sentenced to death for alleged murder of two persons in February 2009, has submitted an individual complaint with the UN Human Rights Committee, claiming that in the course of the investigation and the trial, a number of provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights were violated, namely the right to life, the right to freedom of torture, the right to individual liberty and personal immunity and the right to a fair trial. Continue reading »

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2009 28/10

Alaksiej Lapicki

Alaksiej Lapicki

Harassment of human rights activists in Belarus…

Vitebsk human rights activist Leanid Svetsik has been punished by the system with the greatest fine of 34 million rubles on charges, which were immediately used by the official state media for fomenting resentment and hatred, further discrimination of the Belarusian society.

In this case, the target of a company of discredit appeared to be an active in its relations with the UNCHR Vitebsk human rights activist, an activist of the Belarusian civil society, whose very honorable mission of a human rights activist was damaged.  Continue reading »

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2009 26/10

A number of members of the National Parliament of Sweden (Representative of the Swedish Christian Democracy Annelie Enochson, as well as two Liberal People’s Party MPs Cecilia Wigström and Birgitta Ohlsson), which currently holds the EU Presidency, have joined the ‘Stop 193-1!’ campaign, by addressing the Belarusian authorities with a statement demanding to abolish the application of the shameful Article ahead of imposing sanctions against several Belarusian high-rank officials. By doing this, the Riksdag deputies have shown that they possess full and unbiased information on the actual situation in the sphere of the freedom of association in Belarus. Continue reading »

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2009 26/10

On October 22 in Barysau unknown persons beat Young Front members Maxim Akhrymenka and Yury Bahdanovich during collection of signatures in support of the Belarusian language.

“We collected signatures among passers-by together, when four unknown people in plainclothes came near us,” Maxim Akhrymenka said to mfront.net website. “They asked whether we are Young Front members, and when we said yes, they started to beat us”.

As said by the young activist, when police patrol saw the fight, policemen turned around and went the other way. Then people in plainclothes disappeared.

Source: www.spring96.org
Continue reading »

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2009 24/10

Лідзія Ярмошына, ЦВК

Лідзія Ярмошына, ЦВК


On 20 October during a meeting with President Lukashenka, head of the Central Electoral Committee Mrs. Lidziya Yarmoshyna spoke on the changes to be introduced to the Belarusian electoral legislation. Political parties, whose member wants to run in the election, will not have to possess a regional office within the territory of the respective constituency. Besides, signature sheets will not have to be approved by local authorities before their submission to the Central Electoral Committee. Grounds for denying registration to a candidate will also be reviewed. Apart from that, voter turnout quota will be lifted in the upcoming local elections. However, the quota for presidential and parliamentary elections will be preserved. Continue reading »

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2009 22/10

Bieras'ciejskaja Viasna

Bieras'ciejskaja Viasna

The Brest Viasna human rights organization has been denied state registration for the fourth time, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports quoting local human rights activist and one of Brest Viasna’s leaders Uladzimer Malei.
In its official reply, the General Department of Justice of Brest Regional Executive Committee says that the applicants failed to provide a valid duty payment certificate.
Mr.Malei says they are going to appeal the decision at Brest Regional Court.

Source: www.spring96.org

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2009 22/10
Сяргей Гоўша, Баранавічы

Siarhei Housha, Baranavichy

Baranavichy human rights activist Siarhei Housha has lodged a repeated complaint with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, voicing his opposition to the Ministry’s reply, which named the Optional Protocol as ‘not having a binding effect’ for the parties to the Treaty to implement the conclusions by the UN Human Rights Committee.

In his complaint, the human rights activist stresses that the conclusions by the Committee ARE binding, which is stated in Article 61 of the Belarusian Constitution, securing everyone’s right, under international legal acts, ratified by Belarus, to address international organizations to protect one’s rights and freedoms, in case he or she is unable to find rehabilitation within the national legal system. Continue reading »

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2009 21/10

lvykankamok_mal2By a resolution of the Juvenile Commission … the authorities have taken a five-day time-out to make a decision on the future of the Belarusian-speaking gymnasium pupil Yanka Lapitski, who after a discriminatory decision #928 by the Executive Committee of 09.09.2009 was actually deprived of the right to education in Belarusian Gymnasium #1 in Zhodzina.

On 19/10/2009 the parents of the Belarusian-speaking schoolboy Yanka Lapitski received a letter with an invitation to the meeting of the Juvenile Commission of Zhodzina Executive Committee to consider the future education of their son. After a telephone conversation with Alexei Lapitski, when he requested that they were sent a written invitation to the meeting, a document was served upon them by chairman of the commission and the secretary Natalia Larchanka and Iryna Danilava.  Continue reading »

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2009 18/10

Aliaksei Lapitski

Aliaksei Lapitski

In the context of numerous violations of rights and freedoms in today’s Belarus, steered by the regime through local authorities, law enforcement and judiciary bodies, one can arrive at a conclusion that ‘the decentralization of responsibility’ in suppressing dissenting views and civil activity has already become a smoothly running system.
It is no wonder, for with the presidential election near at hand, more and more official and ‘right’ appeals should be heard. However, ‘clamour’ by the regime’s opponents is well seen in mass media. The regime should have its ‘advocates of power’ among the so called actively prepared, venal and adapted ‘manageable part of the opposition.’ Those who can be bought are being bought today. Those who cannot – are marked as targets for well-planned and sanctioned ‘political cleansings’ – psychological and administrative pressure, intimidation and discriminative persecution. Continue reading »

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2009 16/10

Assembly of Belarusian NGOs

Assembly of Belarusian NGOs

As a result of the meeting held by the Working Group of the Assembly of Belarusian NGOs, 12 new associations became members of the Assembly. The organization now has 276 members.
The civil activists made a progress report on the campaign for the abolition of criminal prosecution for illegal membership in NGOs and political parties – ‘Stop 193-1!’ It was named as one of the priorities of the Belarusian civil society, together with the abolition of the death penalty. As a result, there were some statements on possible abolition of the Article. Still, despite the officials’ promises, the campaign will be continued, unless membership and activities on behalf of an unregistered organization cease being prosecuted, both under the Criminal and Civil Codes of Belarus. Continue reading »

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2009 15/10

sud1On 13 October the Chyhunachny district court of Homel tried 7 pro-democratic activists. As BelaPAN informs, on 16 September 16 oppositionists planned to hold a rally of solidarity with the families of the abducted, but were detained by police on their way to the place where the event was held. As a result, the rally hadn’t taken place.

At the session of the court policemen claimed that all the detained marched along the street in an organized column, and held portraits of the missing Viktar Hanchar and Anatol Krasouski. Activists stated that they were not carrying anything, as the rally was to start on Uprising square. Finally, all the oppositionists were fined for violation of the order of holding mass events. Continue reading »

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2009 15/10

Siarhei Housha

Siarhei Housha

The human rights defenders of Baranavichy seek to stop the disgraceful practice of banning mass actions by the local authorities. Siarhei Housha, Karnei Piatrovich and Viktar Syrytsa prepared an address to the prosecutor’s office of Baranavichy district concerning the ban of a picket to them.

According to Mr. Housha, they are indignant at the very form of the denial: ‘your application for holding a picket in Baranavichy is not in line with the normative acts’. In their address to the prosecutor’s office the human rights defenders point at the fact that the normative acts they allegedly violated weren’t specified in the text of the denial. Besides, the officials exceeded the legal terms for answering. According to the law, the answer was to have been submitted five days before the action, but was submitted just two days prior to it. Continue reading »

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2009 14/10

Uladzimir Katsora

Uladzimir Katsora

On 14 October the head of Homel branch of the For Freedom movement Uladzimir Katsora addressed Homel oblast prosecutor’s office with the demand to instigate a criminal case against the police officers who had drawn up on him deceitful reports following his detention on 16 September. Later Katsora and some other democratic activists of Homel were fined by court on the basis of these documents.

The politician submitted to the head of the Chyhunachny district court of Homel a written refusal to participate in the trial of the administrative case against him. He also received the writ to court for 13 October only on 14 October, by registered mail.  Continue reading »

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2009 13/10

aan1On 12 October 2009 the UN Human Rights Committee registered the individual address of Vasil Yuzepchuk, sentenced to death by Brest oblast court, under number 1906/2009. The appropriate information was received from Geneva office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights by the human rights defender Raman Kisliak.

The Republic of Belarus ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocol to it. Thus, Belarus recognized the competence of the UN Human Rights Committee to consider the individual appeals concerning violations of any of the rights enshrined in the Covenant.  Continue reading »

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2009 13/10

amnesty-bigThe Human Rights Center Viasna collected information about the facts of tortures and inhuman treatment of the detained participants of the peaceful actions held on 9 and 16 September 2009. The lawyers also prepared 6 complaints to the Tsentralny district prosecutor’s office of Minsk against the unlawful police actions and questioned some eyewitnesses of the tortures.

On 12 October the compiled materials were directed to the International Federation of Human Rights and will be passed to the OMCT (World Organization against Torture) and the UN Committee against Torture with the assistance of the FIDH representative in Geneva to get an appropriate international reaction. Continue reading »

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2009 12/10

Alaksiej Lapicki

Alaksiej Lapicki

Comments on the recent reply by the Ministry of Education
Human rights activist Aliaksei Lapitski, father of Yanka Lapitski, has provided his comments on the recent reply by the Ministry of Education in the context of Belarusian-language education in Zhodzina.
I was not at all surprised that our complaint against the inaction by Deputy Minister of Education Mr.Faryno was addressed by Mr.Faryna himself. Being unaware of such simple things and ignoring the legislation at this level, in particular the Law on Public Appeals, is real ‘aerobatics.’ Continue reading »

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2009 11/10

Sviatlana Lapickaja

Sviatlana Lapickaja

On 08/10/2009 Yanka Lapitski’s mother was summoned to the office of the ideology department of the company where she works for an hour-long conversation regarding her son’s studies at Gymnasium number 1, where she was blamed for the situation.

As it turned out, possessed by an inspiration against “asocial elements” and being eager to put the “wrong” Belarusian citizens “in place” the officials have made a new “move of the knight”, on the phone – from the office of Director of Studies (Deputy Principal) of Gymnasium number 1 Ludmila Hladkikh straight into the office of the chief ideologist of the Smalevichy enterprise …  Continue reading »

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2009 08/10

bialacki_sudOn 6 October the head of the Human Rights Center Viasna Ales Bialiatski and the lawyer Uladzimir Labkovich attended the trial, held on the lawsuit of the president of the Chechen Republic Ahmat Kadyrau for protection of his honor and dignity from the Russian human rights organization Memorial. Bialiatski and Labkovich were present at the trial as observers of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH). Continue reading »

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2009 02/10
Васіль Грышчанка, Жодзінскі выканкам

Vasyl Hryshchanka, Zhodzina executive committee

On 01.10.2009, the parents of Yanka Lapitski received a response to their latest appeal from the executive committee of Zhodzina. The document was once again signed by the chair of the executive committee Vasil Hryshchanka alone.

According to Aliaksei Lapitski, despite the fact that the letter from Mr. Hryshchanka noted that it was made in response to the applicants’ appeal, there were no specific answers to the questions raised by the Lapitskis. Continue reading »

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2009 30/07

Leanid Svetsik, Vitsebsk

Leanid Svetsik, Vitsebsk

Thus, the human rights activists helped people, but who will help the activist?
Vitsebsk human rights activist Leanid Svetsik has received a reply to his claim lodged with the Constitutional Court of Belarus, saying that having considered the events dating back to 17 July 2009, mentioned in the claim, the Court passed judgment #P-360-2009 ‘On Securing Equal Rights of Citizens in the Labour Sector.’
In its verdict, already registered in the National Register of Legal Acts of the Republic of Belarus, the Constitutional Court accepted the arguments by the human rights activist pertaining to the illegality of the existing discriminative system of employment restrictions, based on age and place of residence Continue reading »

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2009 29/05

Alaksiej LapickiOr how ‘the improper Freedom’ stains the image of ‘the true democracy’ in the Belarusian Constitution…
(in continuation of the conversation on the issues covered in the article ‘The Freedom of Speech… in the International and Belarusian Legal Context’)
While the post-Soviet countries of the European Partnership are starting their trip towards the European Union, Belarus, just like 10-12 years ago, is stagnant and absolute predictable stability in the civil and political area…
However, this time, we will try to analyze but one, purely legal issue and see whether all’s well in our Kingdom, as it is advertized by ‘highly appointed’ or, should we say, ‘highly anointed’ persons of the country…
So, why does the Belarusian Constitution limit the freedom of thought and conscience… and belief (their free individual or public dissemination and distribution), set out in Part 1 of Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as the freedom of thought, conscience and religion, to mere Freedom of religion and the right ‘to profess any religion individually or jointly with others, or to profess none at all, to express and spread beliefs connected with one’s attitude towards religion’ (Article 31)?! Continue reading »

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2009 28/04

Мікулін АляксандрOn 27 August 2008 the Electoral Committee of Vitsebsk Electoral District #21 refused to register Aliaksandr Mikulin running for the Parliament. Mr.Mikulin disagreed on the decision, guided by the following reasons:
- Under Article 62-1 of the Belarusian Electoral Code, he applied for registration as a candidate for deputy of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, representing the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada) and its local office on the territory of the constituency.
Continue reading »

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2009 23/04

lgot1st_twAnton Yasinovich, together with other persons, was engaged in authorized picketing in Navapolatsk. The picket was aimed at expressing protest against the withdrawal of social preferences by the Belarusian Parliament, as well as conducting a written public inquiry on the decision. The results of the inquiry were sent to the President’s administration and local executive bodies.
However, Anton Yasinovich was accused of violating Article 130-137 of the Electoral Code of Belarus and fined BYR 1,085,000.
The court failed to prove that Yasinovich had breached public order, nor was he charged with undermining national security.
Considering the above-mentioned facts, we believe that the Republic of Belarus has violated his right to free reception and exchange of information, as well as the right to public dissemination of his personal opinion.
Anton Yasinovich has exhausted all the domestic judicial remedies and therefore lodged a complaint with the UN Human Rights Committee, yet to be considered by the authoritative body.

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2009 21/04

On 30 October 2007, Siarhei Kavalenka took part in a civil funeral procession outside Vitsebsk. The action was devoted to the victims of Stalin’s repressions in the 1930s-1950s and attended by over 30 members of their families.
The memorial action was to take place at the execution and burial spots of the repressed people, in the villages of Paliai, Varony and Koptsi, Vitsebsk district. The activists were going to install a cross and lay flowers on the place of mass executions. However, they were approached by representatives of the police, with Deputy Chair of Vitsebsk District Police Department Major Lilenka at its head, who named the funeral procession an unauthorized picket and suggested stopping it. Continue reading »

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2009 16/04

hitler_stalinOn 30 October 2007, Siarhei Beliazeka took part in a civil funeral procession outside Vitsebsk. The action was devoted to the victims of Stalin’s repressions in the 1930s-1950s and attended by over 30 members of their families.
The memorial action was to take place at the execution and burial spots of the repressed people, in the villages of Paliai, Varony and Koptsi, Vitsebsk district. The activists were going to install a cross and lay flowers on the place of mass executions. However, they were approached by representatives of the police, with Deputy Chair of Vitsebsk District Police Department Major Lilenka at its head, who named the funeral procession an unauthorized picket and suggested stopping it.
Despite the threats, Siarhei Beliazeka, together with his fellow activists, went on with the funeral rites. When the action was over and its participants came back to the bus, Major Lilenka said they all were detained as participants of an unauthorized picket. The activists protested against the arrest, but had to obey the order. Continue reading »

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2009 13/04

Barys Khamaida

Barys Khamaida

Barys Khamaida was detained on 7 July 2007 (birthday of the People’s Poet of Belarus Yanka Kupala) in downtown Vitsebsk as he was holding a poster with the poet’s verse written on it. He was taken to Vitsebsk Chyhunachny Police Department and charged with violating Article 23.34 of the Civil Code (violating procedures of holding mass actions and pickets). On the same day, Mr.Khamaida’s case was considered by Judge Bardziukova of Vitsebsk Chyhunachny Court. As a result of the trial, the activist was fined BYR 310,000. Continue reading »

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2009 12/04

luter-rose_c-1The Commissioner on Religions and Nationalities of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus (registration authority) issued a written warning # 02-03/720 to the Religious Association Evangelical-Lutheran Church in the Republic of Belarus for violating the Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations.
At the same time, the decision by the Commissioner resulted in unfavourable legal consequences for our religious association. Under paragraph 2 Article 37 of the Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations, in case the violations are not corrected or occur again within a year, the registration authority has a right to initiate the organization’s judicial dissolution. Moreover, the registration authority has a right to suspend the activities of the religious organization awaiting results of trial. Continue reading »

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2009 11/04

7e4feaa1-588e-4175-898e-bd8598b95a82_w400_sAlena Zaleskaya was detained by the police and taken to Vitsebsk Kastrychnitski police department, where she was charged with violating Article 167-1 of the Belarusian Civil Code (‘violating the procedures of organizing and holding mass actions’). The case was considered by Judge Valiantsina Mikhasiova of Vitsebsk Kastrychnitski Court, who fined the woman BYR 620,000. Continue reading »

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2009 23/03

Андрусь ТычынаAccording to www.salihorsk.org, youth activist Andrei Tychyna has been invited for a conversation to Salihorsk town executive committee and warned that he might face expulsion from high school in case he participated in the officially authorized 25 March Freedom Day demonstration.

Alla Barodzich also said similar warnings will be issued to other Salihorsk youth activists, including Krystsina Samoilava and Ilya Shyla.

Continue reading »

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2009 23/03

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency, commented on the decision concerning the EU sanctions against Belarus, following a meeting of EU foreign ministers on 16 March:
‘We have agreed that the European Union should continue its engagements in Belarus and supporting the positive events in the country. Therefore, we have agreed to prolong visa sanctions suspension for several Belarusian officials for another 9 months. Continue reading »

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2009 22/03

за решёткойAccording to www.odsgomel.org, a Chernobyl nuclear disaster fighter has been sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment for a BYR 10,000 worth theft (USD 3,5).

Siarhei Paharski was convicted by Homel Chyhunachny Court in 2001. Now he is addressing ‘the President, the ambassador, the Government and the people of the United States’ as well as heads of independent human rights organizations, mass media and businessmen etc. with a request to protect his rights. Continue reading »

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2009 22/03

The issue of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s invitation to the summit of the EU countries leaders and the six post-Soviet countries to Prague remains open.

On March 20 in Brussels leaders of the EU countries approved the new Eastern partnership program. 6 post-Soviet countries are included into the program: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Continue reading »

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2009 21/03

Ales Bialiatski

Ales Bialiatski

‘I, Ales Bialiatski, am Chair of the Council of the Public Association Human Rights Center Viasna, closed down by verdict of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus of 28 October 2003.

Considering the decision of the Supreme Court a violation of the freedom of association and having failed to receive an adequate remedy on the national level, ten founders of the Public Association Human Rights Center Viasna used their constitutional right and submitted an individual complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee.

Continue reading »

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2009 16/03

Конституция‘Our heartiest congratulations on the Constitution Day!’ – this is what many Homel residents heard on 15 March.

The action organized by the Belarusian Pro-Democratic Forces was to mark the day of the Belarusian Constitution. The activists distributed leaflets saying that today Belarus marks the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the current version of the Constitution. Continue reading »

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2009 13/03

Бенита Ферреро-ВальднерBenita Ferrero-Waldner explained representatives of the Belarusian opposition at a meeting in Strasbourg why her visit to Belarus had been postponed.

The European Commissioner for external Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner met with head of the United Civil Party (UCP) Anatol Lyabedzka and politician Alyaksandr Kazulin in Strasbourg on March 11 and noted that Europe couldn’t play with fundamental values of the European Union.

Continue reading »

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2009 13/03

свобода словаAccording to www.lenta.ru, the Reporters without Borders international organization has issued an annual report on the freedom of Internet, calling Belarus one of the governments which ‘still alternate between censorship and harassment of Internet users’, albeit refraining from placing it on the list of top Internet enemies.

Continue reading »

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