freedom of expression tagged posts

Belarus Press Photo 2011 Appeal Dismissed


The judicial panel of the Hrodna regional court heard Julia Darashkevich, one of the organizers of the contest, and the lawyers Aliaksandr Birylau and Larysa Atamanchuk. Hearing the appeal took only half an hour.

The judicial panel found no grounds to dismiss the decision of the court of the first instance: Belarus Press Photo 2011 contains extremist materials and is to be destroyed.

The 41 photo albums were confiscated on the border in November 2012 after having been exhibited in Belarus and abroad. The expert commission decided that the albums contained photos which showed Belarus in negative light and spoil reputation of the country.

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OSCE media freedom representative urges Belarus to reform media regulations


There is an urgent need to reform and liberalize Belarus’ media regulations, Dunja Mijatovic, the OSCE representative on freedom of the media, said in Minsk on Tuesday while meeting with members of the country’s lower parliamentary chamber, the House of Representatives.

I say this with full respect of the Belarusian authorities, but at the same time, my role it to emphasize and remind the authorities of their OSCE media freedom commitments, she said.

Ms. Mijatovic said that her office had earlier made a legal evaluation of Belarus’ Media Law, and that the law should be revised.

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Belarus – climate of fear: limited freedom for people charged for politically motivated cases


Belarus : Climate of fear 

Limited freedom for people prosecuted or charged for politically motivated cases

In addition to the 11 detainees identified by international organisations as political prisoners, there is a group of people who have been convicted or prosecuted in politically motivated criminal cases in connection with the 19 December 2010 events and resulting in significant restrictions on their freedom of two forms:

A) Restrictions on freedom without assignment to an open correctional facility (known as domashnyaya khimiya). These individuals must be at home at an appointed time. They are regularly checked by the supervisory agency (the police) and are only allowed to travel to other cities or abroad with the permission of this agency.

Sviataslau Baranovich was sentenced to thr...

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Amnesty International: no changes with human rights situation in Belarus

Amnesty International report on Belarus

The influential international human rights watchdog has released its 2012 report.

It is stated in the report that political prisoners still remain in Belarus (5 people are named – Mikalaj Statkevich, Pavel Sevyarynets, Edward Lobau and Zmitser Dashkevich, Ales Bialiatski). Some people received additional prison terms, while civil society activists face violations of their rights to freedoms of speech, assembly and associations.

It is also stated that Belarusian human rights defenders faced various forms of harassment last year, including a the ban to leave Belarus. In 2012, 15 human rights defenders, journalists and opposition activists were sentenced to administrative detentions for swearing in public places.

Prisoners of conscience

Six people remained in prison in connection with their ...

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Belarus: systemic and systematic human rights violations documented

Miklos Haraszti

In the Special Rapporteur’s assessment, human rights remain systemically and systematically restricted, especially in the case of the freedoms of association, of assembly, and of expression and opinion, as well as the guarantees of due process and fair trial.

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus was established by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 20/13. In the present report, the Special Rapporteur, Miklós Haraszti, who officially assumed his functions on 1 November 2012, describes the prevailing situation of human rights in Belarus since the establishment of the mandate on 5 July 2012 and includes information received until 31 March 2013.

The aftermath of the presidential elections held on 19 December 2010 and the ensui...

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