Solidarity with the civil society

The wave of repression that followed the presidential elections of 19 December 2010 has led to a dramatic decline in teh situation of human rights and civil and political liberties in Belarus. Since then, the international community have expressed its solidarity with Belarusian civil society in many ways.

Please see the below articles on solidarity shown with Belarusian civil society:

4 August 2013: Join the International Day of Solidarity with Civil Society of Belarus


On 4 August 2013, on the second anniversary of arrest of well-known human rights defender Ales Bialiatski, International Day of Solidarity with the Civil Society of Belarus will be held for the second time.

We will observe this day every year, until the situation of civil society in Belarus changes: until  its authorities put an end to imprisoning people for human rights activities, until there is a guarantee of fundamental human rights: freedom of expression, assembly and association.” (Manifesto of the Solidarity Day)

Last year, on this day, events and actions were held in more than 18 countries, including Armenia, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Germany, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Ukraine, the UK and the USA...

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Human rights defenders on the report on EU policy on Belarus: EU parliament risks encouraging dictator


By Olga Zakharova and Yuri Dzhibladze, members of the Committee for International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus

Published by

MINSK – The report on EU policy on Belarus drafted by Lithuanian centre-left MEP Justas Paleckis is soon to be voted on by the foreign affairs committee in the European Parliament.

It is the first report of its kind and will be perceived as a position of the European Parliament concerning overall EU policy on Belarus.

It is clear the report has an important role to play, even if in procedural terms it does not directly influence decisions of the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the European External Action Service.

It will send a message to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka’s regime, to civil society and bus...

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Belarusian human rights defenders marched against death penalty in Madrid

The organizers and participants of the 5th World Congress against the Death Penalty marched yesterday in the streets of Madrid, the city that has become the capital of struggling for the abolition of the cruel and inhuman punishment around the world.

Representatives of the “Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus” campaign participated in the demonstration, carrying the event’s symbol, a red palm with the words “Say NO to the Death Penalty”, together with their own campaign leaflets, which were handed out to both the demonstrators and ordinary passers-by.

Vaisna-rally against death penalty-madrid           say no to death penalty

The march attracted much attention of Madrid residents and tourists. It was led by a group of young drummers, who set the rhythm for the entire column of demonstrators...

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Poland First Lady meets with wives of Belarusian political prisoners

The wife of Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski has met this morning with the wives of human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, former presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich and Young Front leader Zmitser Dashkevich.

Anna Komorowska said words of solidarity and support to Natallia Pinchuk, Maryna Adamovich and Anastasia Dashkevich.

“The meeting was cordial. We were speaking the same language. She is the wife of a former political prisoner and she knows our problems from her own experience. We talked about the importance of European solidarity and our common hopes for the support from European leaders. Emotionally, it was a very pleasant meeting that brought me a kind of relief,” Maryna Adamovich told after the meeting with the Polish president’s wife.

“A meeting on suc...

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Amnesty International has summed up the results of their Letter Writing Marathon which started on 7 December 2012 – three days before the Human Rights Day, and during which thousands of letters were written to Ales Bialiatski. In total Amensty International identified 104,731 measures taken to support the prisoners of conscience.

Pic Ales Bialiatski

Ales Bialiatski, head of the Human Rights Center Viasna and of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) is serving a four and a half years prison sentence. Amnesty International held the campaign to write the petitions to free Ales Bialiatski, as well as to hold actions to promote the campaign.

People from all over the world expressed their solidarity with Ales Bialiatski, including from  Austria, Belgium, the Bermuda islands, Bulgaria, Canada, Cypres...

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Representatives of the central office of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” have held an action of solidarity with Hrodna human rights defenders – Viasna members Viktar Sazonau, Uladzimir Khilmanovich and Belarusian Helsinki Committee activist, Raman Yurhel. The have done so to express their support ahead of today’s consideration of an appeal against an absurd ruling against them by Hrodna Leninski District Court.

Hrodna human rights defenders are contesting fines of 1.5 mln rubles each for alleged illegal picketing on 10 December 2012. They were later charged under administrative procedures for posting a series of photos featuring their action of solidarity with imprisoned Viasna leader Ales Bialiatski online.

The legal absurdity of the unprecedented charges drew much public atten...

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Human Rights Center “Viasna” calls on you to mark the Human Rights Day by solidarity actions with political prisoners

On 10 December the world will celebrate another anniversary of adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly. Since 10 December 1950, this day has been marked as the International human rights day.

Human Rights Center “Viasna” states that the situation of human rights in Belarus remains stably bad. Political prisoners – human rights defenders, civil and political activists – continue being kept behind bars.

The country’s authorities impose unlawful restrictions on the fundamental civil and political freedoms, including freedom of peaceful assemblies, association, expression, participation in the state government through free, democratic and fair elections, etc...

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Pavel Sapelka: “The award belongs to those, who struggled beside me, upholding the understanding of the freedom and independence of legal profession”

These days, human rights lawyer Pavel Sapelka has been presented the prestigious Human Rights Award 2012, awarded to him by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE). CCBE unites about 1 million of European lawyers of Bars and Law Societies.

“The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) granted Sapelko for his courage and perseverance to support the campaign “Human rights activists against death penalty” for the abolition of the death penalty in Belarus. Belarus is Europe’s last dictatorship. Many lawyers cannot practice their professional duties. Sapelko was a member of the Presidency of the Minsk City Bar. He was also involved in defending opposition members and political prisoners who were arrested after the last Belarusian presidential elections in December 2010...

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European Commissioner Štefan Füle: release of Belarusian political prisoners remains a principal issue

The release of the political prisoners is a pre-condition for the beginning of a dialogue between the EU and the official Minsk. It was once again stated by the European Commissioner during a meeting with the deputy head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Valiantsin Stefanovich and the head of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Zhana Litvina on 5 December in Brussels.

A number of meetings with representatives of the European Parliament and the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Štefan Füle place within the framework of the visit of the Belarusian human rights defenders to Brussels, organized by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

As said by Valiantsin Stefanovich, a discussion of the situation of human rights in Belarus took pl...

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Group on human rights in Belarus to be formed in Putin’s presidential council

November 14, 2012

The initiative belongs to Russian human rights activist Andrei Yurov, who is banned from entering Belarus.

The website has learnt it from Andrei Yurov, who became a member of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights:

“I know only one real mechanism to raise the Belarusian question in the Council. It is formation of a working group for human rights in the CIS countries and formation of a subgroup on Belarus within this group. It is possible to invite some Belarusian human rights activists and journalists, of course with their consent, to become permanent experts. People without Russian citizenship are allowed to be experts.”

The human rights activist says other council members are ready to support him:

“It’s difficult to say if I will...

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