Peaceful assembly

The right to freedom of peaceful assembly continues to be violated in Belarus, as human rights defenders, journalists, members of trade unions, etc., are repeatedly prohibited from gathering. Most peaceful demonstrations that take place are repressed by law enforcement officials, and demonstrators are subjected to arrests and judicial harassment.

Please see the below articles on the situation of peaceful assembly in Belarus:

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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Picket in support of political prisoners banned in Brest

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Unlike other cities of Belarus, this action was scheduled fir 10 August, but the Brest City Executive Committee refused to authorize it, referring to the celebration of the Day of the builder.

According to human rights activist Uladzimir Vialichkin who has applied for the picket to the executive committee, he intended to hold the picket on the playground in the park of soldiers-internationalists, which was officially designated by the local authorities as a place for public events.

However, the authorities didn’t allow the picket, as at the specified time the playground would be allegedly used by “another event”. As it was found, the holding of the picket was impeded by festivities on the Day of the builder...

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“Viasna” activists banned from holding August 4 pickets in ten cities

Applications for pickets for release of political prisoners, filed by human rights activists within the framework of the Day of Solidarity with Belarusian civil society, were turned down by the local authorities in Navapolatsk, Vitsebsk, Homel, Mozyr, Rechytsa, Zhodzina, Barysau, Baranavichy, Smarhon and Mahiliou.

As stated by the coordinator of the regional offices of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Dzmitry Salauyou, the prohibitions have formal grounds and came as no surprise to the applicants. Absence of service contracts with law enforcement agencies, medical service and the public utilities – this reason is stated in refusals to all applications for mass events filed by civil society activists.

These grounds for banning pickets do not comply with the current legislation...

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Monitoring report on the results of observation of the rally “Chernobyl Way march 2014”

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On the anniversary day of the Chernobyl disaster, 26 April 2014, an authorized rally was held in Minsk. The event is traditional for the Belarusian opposition and non-governmental environmental organizations. During the action a public observation by RHRPA “Belarusian Helsinki Committee” and Human Rights Centre “Viasna” was coducted by 10 observers. The observers filled unified observation charts in order to assess objectively the nature of the event as well as to note the possible human rights violations during it. According to the information from these charts the course of the mass event and the actions of the law enforcement officers and the participants has been noted...

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Minsk court convicts participants of Chernobyl Way rally

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The court of Minsk’s Savetski district considered today administrative charges brought against six participants of yesterday’s Chernobyl Way rally, who were detained immediately after the meeting. In addition, the court heard the case of former political prisoner Aliaksandr Frantskevich, who was detained ahead of the demonstration.

Judge Maryna Fiodarava considered the administrative offence reports (Art. 17.1, hooliganism and Art. 23.34, participation in an unauthorized mass event) against Dzianis Karnou. Witnesses representing the police say that Dzianis Karnou was swearing and resisted when being dragged to a police car. The sentence is 20 days of arrest.

The case of Mikalai Kolas was considered by Judge Kiryl Palulekh...

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Two more opposition activists arrested ahead of Chernobyl Way rally

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Two activists of the Alternatyva opposition movement, Aliaksandr Stsepanenka and Uladzimir Siarheyeu, were detained last evening in Minsk. They were charged with disorderly conduct and sentenced to five days of arrest by the Minsk Tsentralny District Court.

According to Alternatyva leader Aleh Korban, the detentions are primarily related to the forthcoming Chernobyl Way demonstration.

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Opposition activist Maksim Viniarski goes on hunger strike to protest sentencing

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Maksim Viniarski, activist of the European Belarus opposition movement, was sentenced last evening to 12 days of arrest by the Court of Minsk’s Frunzenski district.

During the trial, an ambulance was called, who said Maksim had to go to hospital because of tonsillitis. However, the police opposed and said he would go to the detention center in Akrestsin Street. In response, Maksim Viniarski declared a dry hunger strike.

Maksim Viniarski was detained by police when leaving the Korona shopping mall in Minsk. The police officers said the activist looked like a criminal.

At the police station he was charged with disobeying police officers.

Coordinator of the European Belarus movement, Maksim Viniarski, who was recently released after a 15-day arrest, said that before the release a police of...

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Chernobyl pickets banned in Vitsebsk, Navapolatsk and Hrodna

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Local authorities in Vitsebsk, Navapolatsk and Hrodan have banned a number of awareness-raising pickets, scheduled for April 26 to mark the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. According to the officials, the organizers failed to submit an appropriate application.

Four representatives of the political party Belarusian Popular Front in Vitsebsk sent a request to the administration of the Chyhunachny district to hold a picket in the local park. However, the bid was rejected, as the applicants failed to attach copies of the contracts as required by the City Executive Committee’s decision. It says that the organizers must sign contracts with the police, public utilities and health care departments. But these services refuse to enter into contracts with the activists...

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Activists threatened with preventive detention ahead of Hockey World Championship

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Human rights defenders have received information about possible provocations against opposition activists and their preventive detention ahead of the forthcoming Ice Hockey World Championship, due to open on 9 May. This was confirmed by the coordinator of the European Belarus movement Maksim Viniarski, who was recently released after a 15-day arrest.

According to HRC “Viasna” website, he said that before his release he was offered to temporarily leave the capital. A police officer told him that if he considered himself a reasonable person, he should realize that he had but two options: either to leave Belarus or to go to the country for some time (referring to the time of the Ice Hockey World Championship)...

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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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