human rights situation in Belarus tagged posts

UN Human Rights Council extends mandate of UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus

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On June 27, the delegates of the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council voted to extend the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus, the UN News Centre said.

The Council decided “to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus for a period of one year” and requested the Special Rapporteur to “submit a report on the situation of human rights in Belarus to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-ninth session and to the General Assembly at its seventieth session”. A resolution entitled “Situation of human rights in Belarus” was supported by 24 delegations. Seven members of the Council were against and 16 abstained.

The resolution expressed deep concern at “continuing violations of human rights in Belarus”...

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FIDH: While the World Ice Hockey Championship takes place, violations continue …

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Belarus is hosting the World Ice Hockey Championship, which started last Friday and will end on 25 May. For once, this country – usually ignored by the media and international public opinion – will be in the spotlight.

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. These three 15-second films will be aired during 3 big “game-days” : 13 May Norway / Sweden, 15 May Finland/Belarus, and 20 May Russia/Belarus.

Together, w...

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Film and debate on human rights in Belarus at Human Rights Film Festival in Geneva

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An international human rights film festival took place in Geneva on March 9, 2014. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) dedicated this festival to human rights defenders who symbolize the battle for human dignity and human rights throughout the world. For Belarus, this person is Ales Bialiatski, the imprisoned head of the Human Rights Center Viasna.

The documentary film Europe’s Last Dictator received a public showing as part of this festival. Before the film began, Mariangela Zappia, the EU ambassador to the UN in Geneva, and Sasha Koulaeva, head of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk at FIDH, addressed the audience.

After the film, a debate was moderated by the journalist André Loersch...

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Court: extradition of Belarusian opposition activist is inadmissible

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The Circuit Court in Warsaw found that a decision to extradite an opposition activist to Belarus was inadmissible under the law. The proceedings in the case had been pending for a few months.

In the first instance, the Circuit Court held that the activist can be legally handed to the Belarusian authorities. During the appeal proceedings, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights presented the Court with a statement on the observance of human rights and freedoms in Belarus. The document focused on such issues as: independence of the judiciary, the functioning of the justice system and guarantees of the right to fair trial, the use of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment.

There was a reasonable concern that extradition of the opposition activist t...

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Miklos Haraszti’s report on Belarus presented and discussed at the UN General Assembly in New York

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On October 28, the UN General Assembly in New York hosted a presentation and interactive dialogue of national delegations on the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklos Haraszti.

After the presentation of the report, representative of the official Belarusian delegation in his speech noted once again that Belarus did not recognize the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, and, accordingly, his report, and refused to cooperate with him. The representative of Belarus said his country viewed the establishment of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Belarus as an attempt by the EU to put pressure on the country, which is pursuing an independent policy...

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Recap of the Third Belarusian Human Rights Defenders Forum in Vilnius by FIDH

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The meeting, which took place on 26 and 27 October 2013, was organised by leading Belarusian Human rights groups [1], with the support of international organisations, including FIDH.

The Forum was opened by Taciana Reviaka, Belarusian Human Rights House President and HRC Viasna board member, and FIDH President, Karim Lahidji. In his welcome speech, Karim Lahidji recalled the history of FIDH’s cooperation with the Belarusian human rights community. He reiterated FIDHs support for Belarusian civil society and recalled the detention of prominent defender and HRC Viasna President, Ales Bialiatski, in a penal colony in Bobruisk since 2011. Bialiatski, who initiated the first Forum in the series back in 2004, was recently re-elected as vice-president of FIDH. An empty chair was left for Ales ...

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Human Rights Watch: EU should stand firm on human rights

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Brussels, July 20, 2013 – The European Union should use its upcoming meeting with the Belarusian foreign minister to reinforce tough and principled human rights demands on the government, Human Rights Watch said today.

Foreign Minister Vladimir Makey will meet EU officials in Brussels on July 22, 2013.  This will be the first formal visit of a high-level Belarusian official to the EU headquarters since the crackdown by President Alexander Lukashenko’s government on the political opposition and civil society following presidential elections in December 2010.

“President Lukashenko pretended for two years that relations with the EU didn’t really matter to him, but he has suddenly changed course,” said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch...

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Belarus Foreign Minister visits Brussels : FIDH calls demonstration for human rights in Belarus

Belarus Foreign Minister, Vladimir Makey will be in Brussels on Monday 22 July after the EU lifted the travel ban against him in June, despite the absence of progress on the situation of human rights in Belarus and the fact that 12 political prisoners remain behind bars. FIDH is organising a demonstration at Rond-point Schuman on 22 July at 12:00 CET.

Belarus currently has 12 political prisoners (full details)

1.   Mikalai Autukhovich
2.   Mikalai Statkevich
3.   Pavel Seviarynets
4.   Zmitser Dashkevich
5.   Eduard Lobau
6.   Ales Bialiatski
7.   Mikalai Dziadok
8.   Ihar Alinevich
9.   Aliaksandr Frantskevich
10. Yauhen Vaskovich
11.  Artsiom Prakapenka
12. Andrei Haidukou
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Human rights defenders on the report on EU policy on Belarus: EU parliament risks encouraging dictator

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By Olga Zakharova and Yuri Dzhibladze, members of the Committee for International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus

Published by EUobserver.com

MINSK – The report on EU policy on Belarus drafted by Lithuanian centre-left MEP Justas Paleckis is soon to be voted on by the foreign affairs committee in the European Parliament.

It is the first report of its kind and will be perceived as a position of the European Parliament concerning overall EU policy on Belarus.

It is clear the report has an important role to play, even if in procedural terms it does not directly influence decisions of the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the European External Action Service.

It will send a message to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka’s regime, to civil society and bus...

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European Parliament holds hearings on the situation with Human rights in Belarus

Belarusian Human Rights Defenders at European Parlament hearings

As part of a meeting of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, on June 19 the European Parliament in Brussels held a discussion about the situation of human rights in Belarus and its draft recommendation regarding EU policy toward Belarus, which was prepared by Justas Paleckis.

Speakers included Elena Tonkacheva, head of the Legal Transformation Center, and Vladimir Labkovich, board member at the Viasna Human Rights Center.

Vladimir Labkovich characterized the situation with human rights as deteriorating and said that Belarus is experiencing an endemic and systematic crisis in this area. In his speech, he made special note of the situations with political prisoners, the mass media, and the judicial system, the ability to exercise civil and political rights, and also the deat...

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