freedom of expression tagged posts

“Extremism” seeking commission to start operating on 27 September

extrem-comm

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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While the World Ice Hockey Championship takes place, violations continue … Video n°3

IceHockey-humain-rightsBelarus-NotOK

Belarus is hosting the World Ice Hockey Championship, which started last Friday and will end on 25 May.

FIDH has made 3 short animated films to denounce the human rights violations taking place in Belarus. These abuses cannot be camouflaged by the Championship.

After the first two films about enforced labour and political prisoners in Belarus, see the third one.

Together, we can all help to denounce these violations very easily by circulating these short films on our social networks : Facebook, Instagram and Youtube

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While the World Ice Hockey Championship takes place, violations continue … Video n°2

Belarus is hosting the World Ice Hockey Championship, which started last Friday and will end on 25 May.

FIDH has made 3 short animated films to denounce the human rights violations taking place in Belarus. These abuses cannot be camouflaged by the Championship.

After the first film about enforced labour in Belarus, see the second one about political prisoners :

 Together, we can all help to denounce these violations very easily by circulating these short films on our social networks : Facebook, Twitter and Youtube

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Court of Minsk to hear complaint against blacklisting HRC Viasna Web site

internet_censorship-belarus

The Court of Minsk’s Tsentralny district will consider tomorrow morning a complaint filed by deputy chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Valiantsin Stefanovich to challenge a decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office to restrict access to the website spring96.org.

Valiantsin Stefanovich received a reply to his appeal to the Prosecutor General of Belarus dated December 10, 2013, which dealt with blacklisting www.spring96.org site. In particular, the response states that actions on behalf of the human rights organization “Viasna” that has not passed the established procedures of state registration are contrary to the law of the Republic of Belarus. In addition, Article 193...

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Film “A Lesson of the Belarusian Language” and record of “Solidarity of Belarus” concert are declared extremist

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Today the Belarusian state newspaper “Respublika” has published the official list of “extremist materials”.

The list opens with the CDs seized in 2008 from journalist Ales Burakou: the film by Polish director Miroslav Dembinski “A Lesson of the Belarusian Language” about the fate of humanities lyceum, closed by the Belarusian authorities in 2003. The second disc is a record of the concert “Solidary with Belarus” , held in the center of Warsaw. These products were declared extremist by the Kastrychnitski District Court of Hrodna.

The list also includes the album “Belarus Press Photo 2011″, declared extremist by the Ashmiany District Court. That decision received a wide publicity in Belarus and the world. The album contained the best shots made by the Belarusian photographers.

Other posi...

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Analytic report “Belarus: Time for Media Reform”

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On February 6, an analytic report on media situation in Belarus was presented at the office of the Belarusian Association of Journalists.

On February 8 it turns five years since the Law on Mass Media has come into legal force. The law enforcement practice shows all its drawbacks that impact negatively free speech and media sphere in Belarus.

The analytical report, presented by Andrei Aliaksandrau (Index on Censorship) and Andrei Bastunets (BAJ), provides an overview of media landscape in Belarus, estimates the law enforcement practice regarding journalists, and provides recommendations on how to improve the situation so that to ensure rights and freedoms of the media and free expression...

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Who put HRC Viasna’s website on a black list?

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The appeals to the state agencies which form the list of banned sites have yielded no results. The Ministry of Communications, in particular, reported that it didn’t possess such information as far as the website spring96.org was not registered in the national segment of the Internet.

In 2011, during the conference “Businees Internet”, the information about the blacklisted websites was voiced. The list of the websites with a limited access is formed by the Operational and Analytical Center under the President of the Republic of Belarus (OAC) in accordance with the decree No. 11/1 of 26 June 2010.

The “black list” included the websites of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, “Charter’97”, “Belarusian Partisan”, as well as the e-currency exchanger “Prakapovich” and the blog of Yauhen Lipkovich ...

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Independent Publisher Loses Suit Against Belarusian Information Ministry

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The Supreme Economic Court of Belarus has rejected a lawsuit filed by a Minsk-based independent publisher against the Information Ministry.

RFE/RL’s Belarus Service reports, that Ihar Lohvinau, the owner of the private LohvinaU publishing house, had demanded that the ministry’s decision to withdraw his license be revoked.

Lohvinau lost his license after a court in Minsk in April declared as “extremist” a book that showcased some of the country’s best photojournalism.

The book — printed by Lohvinau’s company two years ago — consisted of photographs that won prizes in the 2011 Belarus Press Photo competition, including images of a police crackdown on people protesting against authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Some of the images were taken by photographers working for internation...

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Publisher Deprived of License for Publishing Belarus Press Photo 2011

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The private entrepreneur Lohvinau was informed on September 23 that his license for publishing activities had been withdrawn.

The document was signed by Liliya Ananich, deputy of the Minister of Information. The license was withdrawn because of “rough violations of the legislation on licensing”. The matter deals with publishing of the Belarus press Photo 2011 photo album which had been recognized extremist by the Ashmiany court on April 18, 2013.

“We think that the license had been suspended unlawfully, with many violations, so we have already sent a letter to the Minister of Information Aleh Praliaskouski,” said a representative of the publishing company.

According to Andrei Bastunets, the deputy chair and lawyer of BAJ, the law does not entitle the Minister of Information to taki...

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Human Rights Defenders Discuss Violations of Human Rights in Belarus with Dutch Officials

human rights belarus_netherlands

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) invited a delegation of Belarusian and Russian human rights defenders to raise issues regarding the systematic violation of human rights in Belarus with Dutch officials.

Over the course of the three-day visit, Valentin Stefanovich, Vice President of Human Rights Center “Viasna”, Zhanna Litvina, chairperson of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), and the Russian human rights defenders Olga Zakharova and Yuri Dzhibladze from the Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus all visited the Hague and Amsterdam, where they held a series of meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Parliament and met with representatives of international a...

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