2009 30/10

On 30 October 2009 the UN Human Rights Committee has registered an urgent individual request under the number 1910/2009 of mother of Andrey Zhuk, who was sentenced to death in Minsk regional court. This was reported by a lawyer, human rights activist from Brest Raman Kislyak. Continue reading »

2009 30/10
Юлія Дарашкевіч

Yuliya Darashkevich

In the evening of 29 October police arrested the press photographers, members of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), Yuliya Darashkevich (“Nasha Niva”) and Uladzimir Grydzin (a freelance correspondent for Radio “Svaboda”) for the photographing of white-red-white flags, placed on the Nezalezhnastsi Avenue in Minsk by activists of the campaign “European Belarus”.

Continue reading »

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 26/10
Валянцін Стэфановіч

Valiantsin Stefanovich

Famous human rights activist told about the real situation with political repression in Belarus.

The lawyer of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna” , Valiantsin Stefanovich, answered questions on www.charter97.org: Continue reading »

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 09/10
Казімір Фарына, Мінадукацыі Беларусі

Kazimir Faryna, the Belarian Ministry of Education

Yes, on 9 October 2009 parents of Yanka Lapitsky (a Belarusian-speaking student of Gymnasium № 1 in Zhodzina) received another response to theirs appeal, which was sent DIRECTLY to the Minister of Education of Belarus, Mr. Radzkou.

Surprisingly, the Deputy Minister, Mr. Faryna, whose inactivity was highlighted in the appeal, responded to this parents’ address to the Minister by himself (!?). Answer from the Ministry of Education of 06.10.2009 under No. 06-1156-K-(1)-0 was signed by this official.
Continue reading »

2009 09/10

aanOn 9 October, on the eve of the World Day against the Death Penalty, the UN Human Rights Committee confirmed receiving the individual address of Vasil Yuzepchuk, who on 28 June 2009 was sentenced by Brest oblast court to death with property confiscation. Continue reading »

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 06/10
Зьміцер Дашкевіч

Zmicier Dashkievich

Portraits of Young Front leader Zmitser Dashkevich calling to beware of ‘blighter of infant souls’ has recently appeared in Minsk. Continue reading »

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 02/10
Alaksiej Siudak
Alaksiej Siudak

On 2 October the trial of Uladzimir Maliarchuk, Ales Narkevich and Aliaksei Siudak came to an end. They were charged with holding an unauthorized rally on 1 September near the village of Krasny Berazhok, where some memorial crosses were installed. These crosses were dismantled by the district authorities in several days and an administrative case was brought against participants of the commemorative action.

At 3 p.m. the judge read the verdict, without explaining how the court could prove the ‘violation’.

Maliarchuk and Siudak were fined 1 050 000 rubles (about $) each and Narkevich – 750 000 rubles. Having read the verdict the judge left the court hall without raising his eyes.

Source: vialejka.org