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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 charter97.org 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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First year of imprisonment for Ales Bialiatski, a sad illustration of the ongoing repression of the Belarusian civil society

Paris-Geneva, August 3, 2012.

On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the arrest of Mr. Ales Bialiatski, President of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) “Viasna” and FIDH Vice-President, 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), remains extremely concerned about his ongoing arbitrary detention as well as about acts of harassment against him and against other human rights defenders in Belarus.

August 4 will mark a sad anniversary for Mr. Ales Bialiatski and for all human rights defenders in Belarus.

One year ago, Mr...

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The Belarusian government must stop the political persecution of Siarhei Kavalenka and provide him with proper medical assistance

March 30, 2012,  FIDH press release

On 24 February 2012, the Pervomaisk District Court in Vitebsk sentenced opposition activist Siarhei Kavalenka to two years and one month imprisonment, having found him guilty of evading serving a punishment of supervised release.

On 14 May 2010, the Oktyabrsky District Court in Vitebsk sentenced Mr. Kavalenka to three years of provisional supervised release. Criminal proceedings were launched against the activist after he hung a Belarusian white-red-white flag, an alternative to the official flag, on top of the main New Year’s tree in Vitebsk on 7 January 2010. During his arrest, Mr. Kavalenka was severely beaten by militia officers. Later he was accused under Criminal Code Article 339...

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FIDH strongly condemns the execution of two young men after a blatantly unfair trial

Paris, 19 March 2012 – On 16 March 2012, Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou were executed, two days after President Lukashenka rejected their request for clemency. The two men had been condemned to death on 30 November 2011 on charges of plotting a powerful blast in the Minsk underground in April 2011.

These executions are a further illustration of the total absence of an independent judiciary in Belarus, since the guilt of the two young men has not been clearly established and the trial was not fair. These capital shootings look like a way to silence two disturbing witnesses“, said Souhayr Belhassen, President of FIDH.

Both men were arrested on 12 April 2011, as the main suspects in orchestrating the explosion which killed 15 people in a metro station of Minsk, situated within 100...

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