International response tagged posts

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Listens to Human Rights Defenders

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will tie its investment activities in Belarus to the release and rehabilitation of political prisoners.

In mid-March 2013, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) published its new strategy for working with the Republic of Belarus over the next three years. It is noteworthy that the Bank invited a wide circle of representatives of Belarusian civil society to consult on developing this approach paper.

Among other things, the strategy notes that, in light of recent political and economic events and continuing its policy of constructive engagement to promote reform, the Bank will limit its investments with state-owned enterprises in the areas of trade finance, energy efficiency credit lines, and private equity funds.

As ...

Read More

UNPRECEDENTED RESOLUTION AT THE UN TO END THE FINANCIAL STRAGULATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS NGOs

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
World Organization against Torture (OMCT)
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS – Egypt)
Human Rights Center VIASNA (Belarus)
ADC Memorial
(Russia)

Adoption of an unprecedented resolution at the UN to end the financial strangulation of human rights NGOs

Cairo - Saint-Petersburg - Minsk –  Paris – Geneva, March 21, 2013. Today, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council gave a strong response to the increasing trend of curtailing – when not criminalizing – the activities of human rights defenders by limiting their right to access funding, especially when they come from foreign countries...

Read More

COE COMMISSIONER: IT IS NECESSARY TO REFRAIN FROM COOPERATING WITH AUTHORITIES OF BELARUS

Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner, Nils Muižniek, urged members of the organization to provide all possible support to Belarusian human rights defenders and activists. On February 12, he published a following article :

” Belarus is not a member state of the Council of Europe and should not even be considered a candidate until it releases all human rights defenders and opposition activists imprisoned for political motives, abolishes the death penalty and carries out far-reaching democratic reforms. This means that Belarus is not currently subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights or country reports by most monitoring mechanisms and my own office...

Read More

Congressman Smith: Lukashenka must stand before the Hague court

In order to change the situation with human rights in Belarus, world leaders should regularly draw attention to the state of things in the country, and Aliaksandr Lukashenka must stand before the International Criminal Court in the Hague for crimes against humanity, the head of the US Congress’ Helsinki Committee believes, the Voice of America reports.

Making a speech at the event on the occasion of the second anniversary of the brutal crackdown on the 30-thousand demonstration in the center of Minsk on 19 December 2010, an American congressman Christopher Smith stated that the United States should increase the support to the civil society in Belarus.

In the light of increasing repressions it is absolutely necessary for the US’ government not to just keep supporting the civil soci...

Read More

European Commission: reiterating our concerns about the situation of political prisoners in Belarus

Belarus: reiterating our concerns about the situation of political prisoners

Commissioner for enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met today representatives the Belarusian Human Rights Organisation VIASNA, Valiantsin Stefanovich, Vice-Chairman of Viasna, Zhanna Litvina, co-founder and chairwoman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Caroline Giraud and Alexandra Koulaeva of International Federation for Human Rights. After the meeting he said:

This was an important meeting that we had today talking about the situation in Belarus and relations we have with Belarus.

This meeting took place a couple of days after I had the privilege to meet some of you in Stockholm in the framework of the 4th Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum where we talked abo...

Read More

Statement by Filip Kaczmarek on the eviction of the “Viasna” Human Rights Centre from its Minsk office

November 29, 2012

Filip Kaczmarek, Chair of the EP Delegation for relations with Belarus, made a following statement on the eviction of the “Viasna” Human Rights Centre from its Minsk office: 

” On behalf of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Belarus, I strongly condemn the eviction by the Belarusian authorities of the “Viasna” Human Rights Centre from its Minsk office on Monday 26 November 2012.

According to reports, the authorities closed down the office of Viasna in Minsk on Monday morning and sealed off its doors, further to a warning letter sent some days earlier. This action constitutes an unacceptable violation by Belarusian authorities of the fundamental rights of freedom of association and freedom of expression.

This event also constitutes a new attack against...

Read More

Human Rights Chair of OSCE PA concerned about closing of Viasna office in Belarus

COPENHAGEN, 28 November 2012 – Matteo Mecacci, chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly human rights committee, today expressed deep concern over the confiscation of property and closing off of the Viasna office in Minsk

“Viasna has been one of the few sources of independent information out of Belarus and a host to others seeking to improve the human rights situation in the country, exactly the type of activity that Belarus should welcome not close off. I deeply regret the government has closed this office, but hope their important work will continue,” Mecacci said. “This week’s action against Viasna adds to the decision made one year ago, when authorities sentenced Viasna’s chairman, human rights activist Ales Bialatski, to prison on tax evasion charges.

Viasna has played an important rol...

Read More

Press statement following the meeting of Commissioner Füle with wives of Statkevich and Bialiatski

November 9, 2012

The conditions of imprisonment of political prisoners in Belarus and the European efforts to achieve their release and rehabilitation were the main topics of the meeting in Brussels on Wednesday between Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle with the wives of two of the political prisoners, Marina Adamovich and Natalia Pinchuk. Commissioner Füle underlined that the issue of the political prisoners is at the top of the EU agenda. “I fully understand the personal suffering of your husbands and your families,” he said. “I call once more on the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release and rehabilitate all political prisoners...

Read More

EP resolution on the situation in Belarus after the parliamentary elections of 23 September 2012

October 26, 2012

Elections in Belarus

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Belarus after the parliamentary elections of 23 September 2012

(2012/2815(RSP))

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Belarus, in particular those of 5 July 2012(1), 29 March 2012(2), 16 February 2012(3), 15 September 2011(4), 12 May 2011(5), 10 March 2011(6), 20 January 2011(7), 10 March 2010(8) and 17 December 2009 (9) ,

– having regard to the statements of 24 September 2012 by President Schulz, of 24 September 2012 by Vice-President Protasiewicz, Mr Brok and Mr Kaczmarek, of 25 September 2012 by Mr Vigenin and of 26 September 2012 by the Delegation for relations with Belarus, all on the parliamentary elections in...

Read More

Commissioner Füle: Birthday wishes for imprisoned Belarusian human rights activist A. Bialiatski

Brussels, 25 September 2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle has sent a message to one of Belarusian political prisoners, the human rights activist Ales Bialiatski who is celebrating his 50th birthday today.

“I am sorry to convey my birthday wishes to you to a place where you definitely do not belong,” Commissioner Füle wrote.

I am sending you the message of our continuing support for your cause. You have become a visible and powerful symbol of all the failures of the regime when it comes to respect of European values and human rights. There is nothing to justify the treatment you are facing. On every occasion we repeat our demand to the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release and rehabilitate you,” reads the...

Read More