general HR situation tagged posts

Sacha Koulaeva: In Belarus, restrictions are placed on prisoners of conscience even after their release


Demonstrations of solidarity with civil society in Belarus have taken place all over the world. While citizens of many countries are able to express their position and show their solidarity with prisoners of conscience, it remains a sad fact that Belarusian citizens cannot do this. Sacha Koulaeva, head of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk at the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), believes that citizens of Europe are quite well-informed about the problems democratic society in Belarus is facing and about the situation with human rights in the country.

Sacha Koulaeva: This year demonstrations of solidarity have been taking place in a wide range of countries, particularly within Europe...

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Human Rights Center Viasna Opens New Office in Minsk

The Viasna Human Rights Center has opened a new office in Minsk at 8-26 Merzhinsky Street.

office Viasna_1new office Viasna

At a press conference to mark the office’s opening, human rights defenders presented two reports completed since the former office closed in 2012: a survey of the human rights situation in Belarus in 2012, and an analysis of the situation regarding the penitentiary system in Belarus.

In his remarks, Valentin Stefanovich, vice-president of the Center, said: “Today we will tell you about the results of our work, which never ceased while our office was closed. We focused on analytical work, specifically the preparation of a report on the human rights situation in Belarus. It was published as a brochure and summarizes the results of the monitoring we conduct every year...

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Review on freedom of association and legal status of NGOs in Belarus in 2012

The Legal Transformation Center and Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs of Belarus represent the annual review “Freedom of association and legal status of non-commercial organizations in Belarus in 2012”. It contains the most important trends and developments related to the legal conditions of the third sector.

This year, the authors of the review noted that the opportunities to exercise the freedom of association in 2012 in Belarus did not broaden. At the level of legal regulation there haven’t been fixed any significant changes, which would worsen or improve the position of non-commercial organizations. However, further reformation of the legislation on public associations is planned for 2013.

Particular attention is paid to the draft law on alteration of the law of the Republic of Belar...

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UN Human Rights Committe recognised violations in the case of executed Uladzislau Kavaliou

November 22, 2012

Mrs. Liubou Kavaliova, the mother of Uladzislau Kavaliou (Kovalev), executed for plotting and implementing a lethal blast in Minsk underground in April 2011, received the decision of the UN Human Rights Committee. The complaint was considered in less than a year. The Committee recognized that the investigation was conducted with numerous errors, Kavaliou was subjected to physical violence and forced to testify against himself, the court was not impartial and, most importantly, the right to life was violated.

The complaint was filed to the UN Human Rights Committee on December 14, 2011. It was signed by both Liubou Kavaliova and her daughter Tatsiana Kaziar, and was registered the following day.

During its correspondence with the UN HRC, the Belarusian government const...

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UN Special Rapporteur informed about repression and political prisoners in Belarus

Human rights activists met with Miklós Haraszti, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation in Belarus, in Vilnius on November 12-13, 2012.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Belarusian and international human rights organizations.

Valiantsin Stefanovich, the deputy head of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna”, told that Belarusian activists informed Miklós Haraszti about human rights violations in the country:

“We discussed different issues at the meeting from the problem of political prisoners to freedom of association and assembly, free speech and religious rights. We tried to give as much information as possible. We conduced an analysis from problems in legislation to application of the legislation...

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Analytical report on human rights situation in Belarus. July-September 2012

This joint analitical report on human rights situation in Belarus was published by Belarusian human rights organizations : Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC), Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), Assembly of Democratic NGOs of Belarus, Centre for Legal Transformation (CLT), Human Rights Centre “Viasna”, Committee “Salidarnasc”, Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS), International Consortium “Eurobelarus” and Centre for European Transformation.

The main purpose of this report is to show the medium-term trends regarding the human rights, socio-political and economic situation in Belarus. from July to September 2012.

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Amnesty International denied access to Belarus


November 7, 2012 – Belarusian authorities denied a visa to Amnesty International’s researcher on Belarus, Heather McGill. In response, the human rights organization made a following statement on November 7, 2012.

Amnesty international – Public statement : Amnesty International denied access to Belarus

On 10 October, the Belarusian authorities denied a visa to Amnesty International’s researcher on Belarus, Heather McGill. The refusal to grant access to Amnesty International now when representatives of the organization have been visiting the country unhindered for over 20 years to carry out human rights work highlights the current deterioration in human rights in Belarus.

Amnesty International has taken steps to clarify the reasons for the refusal to grant a visa to Amnesty Internatio...

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FIDH and Viasna joint statement: Detention conditions of civil activist Zmitser Dazhkevich get worse

1 November 2012

Paris-Minsk - FIDH and its member organisation in Belarus, Human Rights Center “Viasna”, condemn Tuesday’s Mozyr District Court decision imposing punitive incarceration on Zmitser Dashkevich, leader of the civil and political organization Young Front, for the entire duration of his sentence. Such incarceration sees Dashkevich sent to a prison where conditions are even harsher than in penal colonies, including confinement to his cell 24 hours a day.

The Court took such decision alleging that Mr. Dashkevich has violated the internal rules of  Mozyr penal colony, thus ...

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Civil activist Zmitser Dashkevich sentenced to one more year in jail

Paris-Minsk, August 31, 2012.

FIDH and its member organisation in Belarus Human Rights Center “Viasna” condemn the one year prison sentence imposed on August 28 on Zmitser Dashkevich, leader of the civil and political organization Young Front, for “repeated failure to obey prison authorities”.

Zmitser Dashkevich was initially sentenced on March 24, 2011 to 2 years imprisonment on charges of “malicious hooliganism” allegedly committed ahead of the latest presidential election of December 2010. Since his arrest and detention, he was transferred six times to various detention facilities and penal colonies. Over the last months, he has been purging his sentence in high-security colony No.13 in Hlybokaye (Vitsebsk region). He was expected to be released on December 18, 2012...
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Valiantsin Stefanovich: “There are various legal means to release political prisoners”

August 22, 2012

“Any interference with activities of judges in their administration of justice is inadmissible and is subject to prosecution under the law,” says a reply by the Presidential Administration issued following the petition for the release of Human rights center “Viasna” leader Ales Bialiatski ahead of 4 August.

Stanislau Buko, head of the Administration’s public appeals department, says that “under the Constitution, the judicial power in the Republic of Belarus is administered by courts. In administration of justice, judges are independent when taking decisions and should only obey the law. Other state organs and officials do not possess such powers”.

In his comments on the roundabout reply by the Presidential Administration, vice-chairman of the Human Rights center “Viasna” Va...

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