20 days of arrest for Illia Dabratvor

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In the Leninsky district court of Minsk investigated an Administrative case of activist Illia Dabratvor. He was arrested before the start of the trial of Yury Rubtsou on September 16. Police officers didn’t like his shirt with the inscription “Freedom for political prisoners” that was the reason for the detention.

Dabratvor was brought to the court. He is accused of violating of the Article 17.1 (disorderly conduct) and 23.4 (disobedience for police officers). Witnesses who are the police officers also claim that Dobrotvor was drunk.

Judge Michail Homa refuses to conduct an examination for the presence of alcohol.

Policemen Victar Hadok and Maskalieu testified at trial that Dobrotvor had been swearing, they admonished him, but he didn’t react on it...

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Bialiatski’s book “Quick Silver of Live” presented in Vitsebsk

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The author, ex-political prisoner Ales Bialiatski came there together with the compiler of the book Alena Laptsionak. At a meeting in the “European club” they told the story of the creation of a collection of essays written in the Babruisk penal colony, where he served a prison term for his human rights activities.

The book “Quick Silver of Life. Prologue. Essays of a Human Rights Defender” is devoted to the Belarusian and international human rights movement, as well as to the events of 2010 in Belarus. The publication includes letters with the memories and reflections describing the everyday life and the events preceding the arrest of Mr. Bialiatski, as well as details of his foreign missions.

During the meeting, Ales Bialiatski said that the opportunity to write this book greatly supp...

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Supreme Court outlaws Belsat TV channel name

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The Supreme Court of Belarus has obliged the Polish Television today to stop using the Belsat trademark when broadcasting to the territory of Belarus.

The trademark is also banned from the use on Belsat’s web-page. The court also ruled to exact 9 998 800 Belarusian roubles of the judicial costs from the defendant, Radio Svaboda reports.

The lawsuit against Telewizja Polska SA, which owns the Belsat trademark, came from the owner of a Belarusian company Belsat Plus Andrei Beliakou in May last year.

According to the entrepreneur, his company, which sells the satellite and cable television equipment, allegedly suffered losses due to the similarity of the name and the one of the TV channel...

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“Extremism” seeking commission to start operating on 27 September

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Information Ministry’s inter-departmental commission tasked with identifying extremism in information products will start operating on 27 September.

This was announced by the deputy Information Minister Uladzimir Matusevich on 3 September at a press-conference in Minsk, BelaPAN reports.

“It is not the matter of some out-of-court decisions, – the official emphasized. – The commission is created as a way to extend the law on countering extremism. Extremist materials will be recognized as such in court, while the commission will provide an expert report as to whether there are or are not signs of extremism in these or those materials”.

The creation of a special expert commission, which will be tasked with assessing whether the issued information products have an extremism component, w...

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New informational project on the topic of equal education

On the 1st of September Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities starts, in the framework of Accesibility campaign, a new informational project on the topic of equal education  The website is going to collect the stories of the families, children of which are attending integrated classes. The first story tells about the first in Belarus integrated class for children with autism.

- My son Ivan is 10 years old. He has such a type of autism that is called severe but at the same time he has a huge hidden potential. But in order for him to study special adapted to his demands conditions have to be created, special methods recognized all over the world should be used for socialization and teaching. It will give my son a possibility to show his talents and successfully adaptTatia...

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UN Human Rights Committee takes five new decisions concerning Belarus

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At the 111th session, held 7-25 July, the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations considered five new cases concerning Belarus and issued decisions confirming the violation by the Government of Belarus of certain rights of Belarusian citizens. A brief review of cases was made for “Homel Spring” by the head of the Center for Strategic Lawsuits Leanid Sudalenka.

1. Case “Maryna Koktysh against Belarus” (№1985/2010) refers to the obstacles, created to the journalist of the independent newspaper “Narodnaya Volya” Maryna Koktysh in getting to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly (lower chamber of the Belarusian parliament)...

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Freedom of associations in Belarus in 2014

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The NGO Assembly and Lawtrend published joint monitoring report on “Freedom of associations and status of non-commercial organizations in Belarus for the second quarter of 2014″.

Authors argue that legislative changes pertaining to registration of NGOs could have become the main factor of positive trends. Yet they conclude, that although the legislation was formally improved, the actual conditions for new organizations’ registration did not change substantially.

Monitoring includes the list of new registered organizations, among which sports non-profits are still the majority.

See the full text of this report (in Russian)

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Belarus violated right to peaceful assembly against UCP activist in Homel, says UN Human Rights Committee

The UN Human Rights Committee has said that the Belarusian authorities violated the right of the deputy chairman of the United Civil Party (UCP) Vasil Paliakou to peaceful assembly, by banning in September 2008 a mass event aimed to urge citizens not to take part in the parliamentary elections, which took place on September 28, 2008.

The UCP activist has received the decision dated July 17.

Vasil Paliakou submitted his complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee after he was unable to protect his rights within the country. In 2008, the Homel City Executive Committee did not allow him to hold a picket, demanding that he paid for police, public utilities and ambulance services.

In its decision, the UN Human Rights Committee says that if the government imposes a restriction on the freedom of ...

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Homel activists appeal ban on NGO registration

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On August 26, founders of the republican human rights association “Pakt” (“Covenan”), a movement for the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, submitted to the Supreme Court their appeal against the refusal of the Ministry of Justice to register the public association.

Accordingto the NGO’s executive director Leanid Sudalenka, the organization was created to protect the interests of citizens, in whose cases the UN Human Rights Committee rules to find violations of their civil and political rights by the state.

Refusing to grant state registration to the association, the Ministry of Justice referred to such inaccuracies in the documents as an error in the apartment number of one of the founders and the date of birth of another activist...

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Youth activist Pavel Vinahradau sentenced to 10 days of prison

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On August 23, the Court of Minsk’s Maskouski district considered an administrative case against activist of the Zmena opposition movement Pavel Vinahradau. He was sentenced to 10 days of jail for alleged hooliganism (Article 17.1 of the Administrative Code).

Earlier that day, the activist’s apartment was visited by police officers who demanded that he opened the door. This is how he described it in his Facebook account: “They want the door opened. And I do not want to. We agreed that in two hours I will go out myself. I’ll go with the things, of course. Farewell, dear FB! See you in a couple of weeks.”

After a while Pavel Vinahradau went downstairs, where he was detained by police and taken to the police department of Maskouski district...

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