FIDH tagged posts

Sport for sport : appeal by Human rights organisations to the Governments of the countries participating in the 2014 World Ice Hokey Championship to be held in Minsk

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The World Ice Hockey Championship will be held from 9 to 25 May 2014, in Minsk (Belarus).

We, as representatives of both international and national human rights organizations (see list of signatories below), welcome this unique possibility for Belarusian people to enjoy the sportive competition hosted by their country and the universal values of sport.

Going far beyond these values, the country’s top administration, including President A. Lukashenko, has repeatedly underscored that the World Ice Hockey Championship is an important political event...

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9 political prisoners in Belarus are in critical situation and freedom for 32 activists is restricted

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Evidence gathered by FIDH and its member organisation in Belarus, Human Rights Centre Viasna, clearly contradicts the statement made at a press conference on February 14, 2013 by the Belarusian Deputy Prosecutor, General Alyaksey Stuk, that the detention conditions of the 9 detainees currently identified by our organisations as political prisoners in Belarusian prisons and penal colonies are not different from the conditions of other prisoners.

The 9 detainees suffer regular punishments that sharply exacerbate the already difficult conditions of their detention by restricting their means of support and quality of food and medical assistance...

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Film and debate on human rights in Belarus at Human Rights Film Festival in Geneva

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An international human rights film festival took place in Geneva on March 9, 2014. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) dedicated this festival to human rights defenders who symbolize the battle for human dignity and human rights throughout the world. For Belarus, this person is Ales Bialiatski, the imprisoned head of the Human Rights Center Viasna.

The documentary film Europe’s Last Dictator received a public showing as part of this festival. Before the film began, Mariangela Zappia, the EU ambassador to the UN in Geneva, and Sasha Koulaeva, head of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk at FIDH, addressed the audience.

After the film, a debate was moderated by the journalist André Loersch...

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Human rights situation in Belarus discussed at UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

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The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) organized a number of meetings and events on the situation with human rights in Belarus as part of a session of the UN Human Rights Council that took place in Geneva on March 6 – 7, 2014.

Participants in the round table “Social and Economic Rights in Belarus are Violated as Systematically as Political and Civil Rights” concentrated on violations of freedom of association, freedom of assembly, and the election process, noting in particular the situation with political prisoners. They also presented a report by FIDH and the Human Rights Centre Viasna entitled “Forced Labor and the Pervasive Violations of Workers’ Rights in Belarus”...

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Belarus should abolish compulsory labour and ensure adequate protection of workers. This, among other important recommendations, was put forward by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) following its review of Belarus in November 2013.

The UN Conclusions reflect key issues and recommendations raised in the joint FIDH and Human Rights Centre ‘Viasna’ report “Forced labour and pervasive violations of workers’ rights in Belarus”. They provide a long-awaited assessment of the rhetoric espoused by the authorities in Belarus, who persistently present the country as ‘the last remaining social paradise in Europe’.

“Along with pervasive violations of political and civil rights, the Belarusian government persistently violates the social and economic rights of its citi...

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FIDH and “Viasna” demand the immediate and unconditional release of Mikola Statkevich and other political prisoners

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Today marks the three-year anniversary of the heavy-handed crackdown on a protest meeting in Minsk’s Independence Square. This event was followed by a wave of arrests, detentions, and subsequent prosecutions of opposition members, activists, citizens, and several presidential candidates participating in peaceful demonstrations throughout Minsk. The opposition politician and presidential candidate Mikola Statkevich was also arrested on December 19, 2010, and remains in prison to this day.

On May 26, 2011, the Lenin District Court sentenced Mr. Statkevich to six years of deprivation of freedom with service of sentence at a medium security penal colony under Article 293(2) of the Belarusian Criminal Code. Mr. Statkevich has currently served half of his sentence...
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Nabeel Rajab wrote to Ales Bialiatski

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From Jaw prison in Bahrain, Nabeel Rajab, FIDH Deputy Secretary General, wrote to Ales Bialiatski, FIDH Vice-President, who has been imprisoned for more than 2 years in Belarus.

My colleague, my friend, my beloved brother Ales,

I am Nabeel Rajab writing to you from prison in Bahrain.

I know a great man like you is imprisoned because you refuse to live in an unjust world.

It is so sad that all people of Belarus are being punished by taking you away from them.

You belong to your people, fighting for their rights, striving for their freedom, and seeking justice…

I sometime feel like screaming your name in my little jail and sometime feel helpless because I, instead, should by journeying the whole world fighting for your release.

I am so confident that we both will come out from prison even st...

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FIDH President on the defence of LGBT rights and situation in Belarus

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In December 2013, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the Human Rights Center “Viasna” signed an on-line petition to enhance tolerance towards the LGBT community in Belarus and support the organisation of the 9th Annual Human rights forum “Minsk Gay Pride 2013″ . 

Belarusian section of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty talked with FIDH President Karim Lahidji about various dimensions of the defence of LGBTI rights.

 – Many argue that events like gay pride marches are counterproductive and instead of making them more accepting, they only make already homophobic societies (such as the one in Belarus and in the region overall) even more so.  How would you respond to that argument?

 This argument was used a hundred years ag...

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Ales Bialiatski becomes an Honorary Citizen of Paris

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On December 10, Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë presented this symbolic award to Adam Bialiatski, the son of the political prisoner. The ceremony took place during a luncheon in honor of FIDH at City Hall in Paris.

Ales Bialiatski was granted the title of Honorary Citizen of Paris in October 2012 at the suggestion of the mayor and under the initiative of the City Council for the 11th arrondissment of the capital city of France.

It had always been Bertrand Delanoë’s hope to award the honorary citizenship to Ales Bialiatski in person, but the mayor’s term is ending and he understood that this would not be possible. So he decided to present this honor to the son of this prisoner of conscious on December 10, International Human Rights Day.

Witnessing the ceremony were several hundred guests...

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New report by FIDH and HRC Viasna : Forced Labor and the Pervasive Violation of Workers’ Rights in Belarus

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Belarus authorities use of every means possible to feed the country’s economy to the detriment of its citizens’ economic and social rights. Internationally publicized as the «last European socialist paradise», Belarus forces large portions of its population to work, sometimes without pay and especially without the possibility to protest harsh or unfair conditions. These are the main observations of a report published today by FIDH and HRC Viasna.

Economic and working issues are quite sensitive in Belarus, especially in the current climate...

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