Political prisoner Eduard Lobau has problems with mail correspondence

political prisoner Eduard Lobau Belarus

Not all the letters come through from Eduard Lobau, who is serving imprisonment term in the penal colony number 22 in Ivatsevichy.

The Charter97 web-site learned about that from his mother Maryna Lobava : “Son phoned on Saturday, said that he was in good health and everything was good. We will not have a meet for long yet. I am planning on June, but I do not know whether it will happen – this is always in question. If it does take place, then it will be a long meeting”.

Political prisoner’s mother pointed out that in June his studies end and he will get a certificate of a electric and gas welder.

“I have no problems with communication with Eduard, but not all his letters reach other people for some reasons”, – Maryna Lobava added.

Eduard Lobau, Young Front movement activist, w...

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Another death sentence issued in Belarus

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26-year-old Homel resident Aliaksandr Hrunou has been repeatedly sentenced to death. According to the lawyer, the young man does not believe that he can be pardoned by the President, and therefore he is not sure whether he will apply for clemency.

On April 8, the Supreme Court re-heard the appeal of Aliaksandr Hrunou against the death sentence, issued to him by the Homel Regional Court. The young man was charged under Part 6 paragraph 2 of Article 139 of the Criminal Code – murder committed with extreme cruelty.

Story of the murder of a Homel student

September 20, 2012 Aliaksandr Hrunou killed his acquaintance, student Natallia Yemelyanchykava. He kept contacts with her brother. Both of them took part in skinhead movements and had a criminal record...

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Belarusian public opinion on crime and punishment, including the death penalty

In 2013, non-governemental organisation Penal Reform International commissioned a detailed survey of public opinion about crime, punishment and the death penalty in Belarus.

Market researchers, Satio, conducted the survey, interviewing 1,000 participants. The results show that opinions around capital punishment are more varied and nuanced than is often stated, while public attitudes about crime in general are strongly affected by respondents’ social position, background and emotions.

Key findings included:

  1. Support for the death penalty is only 64% – significantly down on the 80% who supported capital punishment in a 1996 referendum.
  2. Concerns about personal safety appeared to be a key reason for supporting the death penalty.
  3. Three-quarters of respondents felt that convicting an innoce...
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The Observatory: Confirmation in appeal of the ban of a book written by Ales Bialiatski

Observatory Human Rights Defenders
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Belarus.

New information :

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the confirmation in appeal of the ban of a book written by Mr. Ales Bialiatski, President of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) “Viasna” and FIDH Vice-President, who is serving 4,5 years’ imprisonment in relation to his human rights activities...

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Ales Bialiatski – Civil Rights Defender of the Year 2014

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Ales Bialiatski, founder of the Belarusian human rights organisation Viasna, is the recipient of the 2014 Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award. His wife, Natalya Pinchuk, and his colleagues of “Viasna” received the prize on his behalf at a official ceremony held on April 4 in Stockholm.

Civil Rights Defenders noted, that for over 30 years, Ales Bialiatski had pursued a life of continuous struggle to campaign for democracy and human rights, first in the Soviet Union and then in Belarus. Ales was arrested on 4 August 2011 and sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for tax evasion in a trial with clear political overtones. Since then he has been imprisoned and prevented from communicating freely with the outside world...

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Belarusian president learns that Ales Bialiatski compensated for damage two years ago

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On January 21, Alexandre Lukashenko met with heads of Belarus’s biggest mass media. BelaPAN director Ales Lipai asked him about political prisoner Ales Bialiatski.

Lipai explained the damage, which the court thinks human rights defender Bialiatski caused to the state, had been compensated by public members. “The damage was compensated from public donations. There were cases in the country that businessman were released after paying bigger compensations. In Russia, Putin recently freed his vigorous opponent Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who caused damage of 500 million dollars, a much bigger sum,” Lipai said.

According to Lukashenka, the issue of amnesty could be considered if the information about the compensation was proved.

Two months have passed, and Nasha Niva newspaper sent a request to A...

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Freedom House, the Lithuanian Parliament and human rights defenders launch initiative to support Belarusian political prisoners

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Freedom House, in cooperation with the Lithuanian Parliament and Belarusian human rights defenders, launched the MP4Freedom initiative inviting Lithuanian MPs to become “godparents” of political prisoners in Belarus.“As neighbors, Lithuanians should care about the future of the Belarusian nation,” said Petras Austrevicius, deputy speaker of the Seimas, who championed the initiative on behalf of the Lithuanian Parliament.  “The idea behind this initiative is to encourage Lithuanian MPs to engage on the issue personally by becoming ‘godparents’ of political prisoners in Belarus.

Belarus is hosting Ice Hockey World Championship in May 2014 and it is not fair that some Belarusians will not have an opportunity to enjoy it due to the ongoing repressions in the country,” sa...

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“Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” presented the resulats of local councils elections

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The election observation campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” have summed up the results of this year’s local councils elections.

According to the deputy chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Valiantsin Stefanovich, the local elections have demonstrated long-standing problems of legislation, as recommendations of both Belarusian and foreign observers continue to be ignored by the CEC and election commissions.

The campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” involved 30 long-term and 220 short-term observers, who worked at 180 polling stations across Belarus.

The stage of formation of election commissions was marked by a selective approach, when the list of election commissioners was often approved without any discussion...

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Vaukavysk activist Vital Huliak fined 1.3 mln over solidarity with Ukraine

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Vital Huliak, an opposition activist of the town of Vaukavysk, Hrodna region, has been sentenced to a fine of 1.3 mln rubles by the Vaukavysk District Court. He was detained by police on March 13 for staging a picket in support of Ukraine. Vital Huliak came out with a Ukrainian flag and the banner “No to War! Putin Out!” The trial was scheduled for March 14, but was adjourned till the 17th.

Judge Mikalai Talashka of the Vaukavysk District Court ruled to fine the activist and ordered to destroy the materials used in the picket, the national Ukrainian yellow-blue flag and ​​a poster. Vital Huliak is going to appeal against the court’s decision.

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Aliaksandr Artsybashau and Pavel Vinahradau sentenced to large arrest terms

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The activists of “Zmena” (the youth wing of “Tell the Truth” political movement) were detained on March 13. Artsybashau drove to the office of the police inspection, where ex-political prisoner Vinahradau came for regular registration.

As stated to BelaPAN by Pavel’s wife Sviatlana Vinahradava, her husband was detained when coming out of the police inspection, and Aliaksandr was detained by officers of road police a little later. According to her, police officers hinted that the arrest was connected with the upcoming local elections. The detainees were kept at the detention center in Akrestsin Street at night.

March 14, Judge of the Maskouski District Court Tatsiana Motyl sentenced Mr. Vinahradau to 25 days of arrest under Articles 17...

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