HR Defenders tagged posts

“Viasna” writes contemporary history : “Our Viasna. History in Faces”.

May 2, 2012

The 16th anniversary of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” was marked by the presentation of two books: a photo album “For Right to Elect: Portraits of Convicts. Square-2010″ and the book of interviews “Our Viasna. History in Faces”.


The presentation was held on May 2, 2012 in the office of the Belarusian Popular Front Party and was attended by journalists, human rights activists and public figures, former political prisoners, their families and relatives.

Deputy Chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Valiantsin Stefanovich said that the events associated with the Square-2010 were still going on...

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“Viasna” marks 16 years of activity

April 27, 2012

It was 16 years ago, when after a wave of brutal arrests during the traditional Chernobyl Way march a group of activists started collecting and disseminating information on the detainees, trying to give them financial support. This is how “Viasna-96” was founded, whose priority was providing assistance to the victims of political repressions and sharing information on these repressions.

“Viasna was started against a background of mass protests in the spring of 1996,” says the organization’s leader Ales Bialiatski in an interview for the edition “Our Viasna” released to mark the organization’s anniversary. “During the protest (26 April, in Minsk), the police blocked the road with cars. All this was accompanied with harsh clashes. Some 200 persons were detained then...

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Human rights defenders banned from travelling abroad.



Paris-Geneva, March 16, 2012. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), deplores the series of travel bans imposed on a number of human rights defenders by the Belarusian authorities, amid the worsening of EU-Belarus diplomatic relations.


On March 11, 2012, Mr. Valiantsin Stefanovich, Vice Chairman of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna”, was banned from leaving the country by customs officers at the Belarusian-Lithuanian border point “Kamenny Loh”. No explanation was given to him regarding the reasons of this denial.


On March 13, 2012, a “travel ban” was ...

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Black list in action: Valiantsin Stefanovich not let abroad

On March 11, 2012, the deputy head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Valiantsin Stefanovich didn’t manage to come to Lithuania. He was stopped by border guards at the crossing point “Kamenny Loh” and told that foreign travel restrictions were applied towards him.

However, the human rights defender received no explanations. On March 7 officers of this crossing point didn’t let out the head of the United Civil Party Anatol Liabedzka, on March 10 – the head of the Belarusian Leftist Party “Fair World” Siarhei Kaliakin and activist of the movement “For Freedom” Viktar Karniayenka.

Bear in mind that in the beginning of March the web-portal tut...

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Valiantsin Stefanovich ordered to pay 57 mln.bel.roubles within seven days

February 28, 2012

Valiantsin Stefanovich, deputy chair of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” has received copies of court rulings ordering to execute the decision by Minsk Partyzanski District Court of 16 December 2011.

Under the decision, the human rights defender is to pay over 31 mln. belarusian roubles of income tax, 22 mln. of fine and 2 mln. of state duties (total 5300 euros). In case of failure to pay the sum within seven days, the human rights defender may face compulsory measures, including confiscation of property.

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Verdict upheld against “Viasna” Vice-Chairman Valiantsin Stefanovich


Paris-Geneva, February 21, 2012. 

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), condemns the rejection of the appeal lodged by the Vice-Chairman of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) “Viasna”, Mr. Valiantsin Stefanovich, before the Minsk City Court.

On February 13, 2012, the Minsk City Court dismissed the second appeal lodged by Mr. Valiantsin Stefanovich, and upheld the verdict which had been issued against him by the Partyzanski District Court of Minsk on December 16, 2011, sentencing him to a fine of 53 million rubles (about 4,840 euros)...

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Minsk City Court upholds verdict to Valiantsin Stefanovich

On February 13, 2012 the Minsk City Court upheld the verdict issued to the to the deputy-head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Valiantsin Stefanovich by the Partyzanski District Court of Minsk.

According to the Partyzanski District Court, on December 16, 2011 Mr. Stefanovich was found guilty of tax evasion and sentenced to pay 54,357,370 rubles as the tax for allegedly concealed income, and 2,717,870 rubles as the court fee.

The panel of judges of the Minsk City Court considered the appeal and decided to leave the verdict of the court of the first instance in force.

Human rights defender Valiantsin Stefanovich is convinced that his case is a continuation of the persecution of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, including the imprisonment of ales Bialiatski for human rights activities ...

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“Viasna”: six months without Ales Bialiatski

The Human Rights Center “Viasna” has been working without its leader, Ales Bialiatski, for six months already. The human rights activist was detained on 4 August 2011, and sentenced to 4.5 years in maximum security colony with confiscation of property on 24 November.

Isolation of the head of the human rights organization investigations, interrogations of members of the organization and the trial added to worries and anxieties of the center’s staff. However, the activity of “Viasna” is not substantially affected, since the members of the organization have not succumbed to confusion and continued their work.

How is “Viasna” working today, without its permanent leader and inspirer of Ales Bialiatski? What are the thoughts and hopes of “Viasna” members? Members of the Human Rights Center hav...

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Viasna human rights centre deprived office

Human rights defensers have to leave the flat that belonged to Ales Bialiatski and was confiscated by the state after his trial.

Euroradio has learned this from Tatsyana Ravyaka, the colleague of the human rights activist.

According to her, the human rights centre staff hoped the hearing of the cassation appeal would cancel at least a part of sentence to Bialiatski. In this case, his colleagues would be able to continue working in the office they have been occupying since 2000.

Lukashenka claimed unambiguously: he should return the money and he will be freed. However, it has turned out that the case was not about money...

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Valiantsin Stefanovich appeals court ruling in tax trial

On 19 January, 2012 deputy chair of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Valiantsin Stefanovich lodged a complaint with Minsk City Court demanding to reverse an earlier decision of 16 December 2011 by Minsk Partyzanski District Court to exact 56 mln. rubles of fine for alleged tax violations.

The human rights defender believes that the court ruling is groundless and illegal, which should result in its reversal, as provided by Par. 1 and 2 Art. 401 of the Code for Civil Procedures.

In his appeal submitted to Minsk City Court, Valiantsin Stefanovich names the reasons sufficient for the reversal of the verdict...

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