HR Center Viasna tagged posts

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


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 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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Minsk City Court rejects Uladzimir Labkovich’s cassation appeal


The cassation appeal by member of the Board of the HRC “Viasna” Uladzimir Labkovich against a ruling by the Court of Minsk’s Savetski district of October 8, which punished the human rights defender by a fine of 3.9 million rubles (420 $), was considered by the Minsk City Court on November 19. The consideration of the complaint took place without the participation of Labkovich, as he only received the notification on November 23.

Uladzimir Labkovich and Tatsiana Reviaka were detained on August 5 while handing out cards on the occasion of the second anniversary of the arrest Viasna’s leader Ales Bialiatski...

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Valiantsin Stefanovich petitions Constitutional Court over language discrimination


Valiantsin Stefanovich, Deputy Chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, submitted a petition to the Constitutional Court to highlight the issue of discrimination on linguistic grounds, as there is virtually no lawmaking in the Belarusian language. This complicates the process of protecting the interests of Belarusian-speaking citizens in courts and other state bodies.

The human rights defender stresses that Belarusian human rights organizations keep receiving reports of discrimination on linguistic grounds. The Law “On Languages ​​in the Republic of Belarus” in its new edition of July 13, 1998 does not guarantee equality of the two official languages ​​and, according to Stefanovich, is contrary to Art. 17 of the Constitution.

According to the Law, proceedings are carri...

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Ales Bialiatski: Two years since politically motivated verdict

Photo by Yulia Darashkevich

Two years ago, on November 24, 2011, the Court of Minsk’s Pershamaiski district convicted Ales Bialiatski, the leader of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” and vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights. According to the verdict, Ales Bialiatski was found guilty of committing a crime under Part 2 of Art. 243 of the Criminal Code (tax evasion on a large scale) and was sentenced to imprisonment in a high security penal colony for a period of 4.5 years and a confiscation of property.

The Human Rights Center “Viasna“, as well as the leading international human rights organizations, viewed the verdict as politically motivated, as it was aimed at sanctioning the legitimate human rights activities of Ales Bialiatski and the Human Rights Center “Viasna” in general.

The senten...

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Human rights violations in Belarus discussed at UN side-event


On October 30, 2013 New York City hosted a side event at the UN General Assembly with the participation of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Mr. Miklos Haraszti, and the Belarusian and international human rights defenders: Valiantsin Stefanovich, deputy chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, Zhanna Litvina, leader of Belarusian Association of Journalists, Sasha Koulaeva, head of FIDH’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk.

The event was organized by FIDH, Amnesty International and the Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House, and moderated by Amnesty International’s representative to the UN Jose Luis Diaz.

The event aroused great interest and was attended by many members of national delegations to the United Nations, including the ambassado...

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Political prisoners in critical situation and restricted freedom for 33 activists


FIDH and its member organisation in Belarus, Human Rights Center Viasna, publish an update of its note on political prisoners in Belarus.

Both organisations are outraged at the large-scale and systematic acts of repression being inflicted upon both political prisoners and individuals whose freedom has been restricted for political reasons. It hereby releases a document detailing this repression and calls upon the regime to cease its oppressive behavior.

Evidence gathered by FIDH and its member organisation in Belarus, Human Rights Centre Viasna, clearly contradicts the statement made at a press conference on 14 February 2013 by the Belarusian Deputy Prosecutor, General Alyaksey Stuk, that the detention conditions of the 9 detainees currently identified by our organisations as political pr...

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III Belarusian Human Rights Forum: empty chair of Ales Bialiatski


More than 110 activists representing 25 organisations gathered in Vilnius for the Third Belarusian Human Rights Forum that opened on October 26.

Speaking at the two-day event, Tatsiana Ravyaka of the Human Rights Center Viasna noted that Belarus’ human rights movement was “developing and expanding.” The previous Belarusian Human Rights Forum, held in 2010, brought together representatives of only 17 organizations, she stressed.

The activist noted that Human rights defenders in Belarus had experienced many ordeals since 2010. “These ordeals have not scared us but have demonstrated what big potential human rights defenders have as they have displayed great teamwork in solving problems, an incredible level of solidarity and mutual support,” said Ms. Ravyaka.

Referring to the impriso...

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A modern and just society cannot be based on the ideology of death: Abolish the death penalty!


The 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty is marked today, on October 10, 2013. Throughout the world, civil society activists and abolitionism associations unite to remind the international community about the absurdity of the punishment and the cruelty of executions.

Long Live Death!” With these words, Franco’s rebels would celebrate their victories during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. Thus, states that prefer death to life and barbarism to the mind have always existed and, unfortunately, continue to exist. The death penalty itself is a manifestation of this distorted thinking.

58 more or less affluent countries that are either democracies or dictatorships can now legally sentence one of its citizens to death...

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Human rights defender Uladzimir Labkovich punished with a fine on the fourth attempt


On 8 October the administrative case of the member of the Council of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Uladzimir Labkovich was finally reviewed by the Savetski District Court of Minsk.

The human rights defender appealed the ruling of Judge of the Savetski District Court of 6 August, according to which he was punished with a fine under part 1 of Article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (“violation of the rules for organizing and holding mass events”). The Minsk City Court reversed the verdict and returned the case to the Savetski District Court for review by another judge.

On the fourth attempt Judge Eduard Yakubouski, having questioned as witness the police officer Smaliak (who had detained Mr...

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Valiantsin Stefanovich: Medical and labour centre is prison without court decision


Valiantsin Stefanovich, Vice-president of human rights centre “Viasna”, commented the case of former political prisoner Vasily Parfiankou sent to a medical and labour centre for a year.

“As for the procedure of taking a person to such centres, human rights centre “Viasna” considers it to be a violation of human rights, no matter to whom it is applied. Alcoholism cannot be treated forcefully, moreover by enforced labour. Patients of medical and labour centres usually work at construction sites or on collective farms. We had a mission to study the situation of enforced labour in Belarus. The report will soon be released. We studied the use of enforced labour in relation to patients with alcohol addiction isolated in medical and labour centres...

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