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Human rights defenders banned from travelling abroad.

PRESS RELEASE – THE OBSERVATORY

 

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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Massive public media campaign targeting Ales Bialiatski

Paris-Geneva, November 9, 2011

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources of a massive campaign through public media that is targeting Mr. Ales Bialiatski, President of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) “Viasna” in Belarus and Vice-President of FIDH, and that could undermine his right to a fair trial by influencing the judge as his trial resumes on November 10.
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), has received new information and requests your intervention in the following situation in Belarus.

New information:

According to the information received, since November 5, 2011, Mr...

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The authorities deny visas to FIDH President and Honorary President to attend Ales Bialiatski’s trial

Paris-Geneva, Paris, November 2, 2011 – The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) strongly condemn the refusal by the authorities of Belarus to grant FIDH President, Souhayr Belhassen, and Honorary President, Patrick Baudouin, visas to observe the trial of FIDH Vice-President, Ales Bialiatski, who is held in pre-trial detention since August 4, 2011 on charges of “serious tax evasion”.

As soon as Ales Bialiatski’s trial was scheduled for November 2 before Minsk Maskouski District Court, under the presidency of Judge Siarhei Bandarenka of Pershamaiski District Court, FIDH appointed a delegation composed of FIDH President, Souhayr Belhassen, Chief Executive Officer, Antoine Bernard, Honorary Pr...

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Annual Report of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders: undue pressure against Belarus’ civil society and independent media continues

“In 2010-2011, the working environment of human rights defenders remained very restrictive and the situation deteriorated after the December elections. Several organisations were still denied legal status. Searches and confiscation of property were conducted by the police. Peaceful assemblies were also banned, leading to the arrest and judicial harassment of human rights defenders. Several foreign human rights defenders were also prevented from entering the country,” says the summary to the section on Belarus.

The Observatory criticizes the Belarusian government for “exerting undue pressure against civil society and independent media”. “The situation deteriorated dramatically following the presidential elections on December 19, 2010, when . . ...

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Open Joint letter regarding the new legislative amendments limiting freedom of assembly and association and imposing new restrictions on civil society groups in Belarus

 21 October 2011

To: House of Representatives of the Republic of Belarus

Council of the Republic of the National Assembly

Copy to: Mr Aliaksandr Lukashenka, President of the Republic of Belarus

We, representatives of international human rights organizations Amnesty International, ARTICLE 19, Civil Rights Defenders, Front Line Defenders, Human Rights Watch, the Human Rights House Foundation, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and 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), urge the Council of the Republic, the upper chamber of the Belarusian Parliament, to quash recent legislative amendments that impose limitations on freedom of assembly and associa...

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Actions in support of Ales Bialiatski are still banned in Belarus

Hrodna

On 10 October 2011 the Leninski District Court fined human rights defender Viktar Sasonau, who had been detained on 23 august for handing out leaflets with information about the arrest of Ales Bialiatski, chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”. The same day the police held a search at his apartment, confiscated two computer system units, informational and human rights editions and T-shirts with Bialiatski’s portraits.

Judge Kseniya Kastsiukevich started trying Sazonau’s case on 21 September. On 10 October Mr. Sazonau was sentenced to pay a fine of 735,000 rubles. The human rights defender disagrees with the verdict, as the right to receive and disseminate information is guaranteed by the Constitution.

Slonim

On 15 September 2011 Slonim resident Ivan Sheha addressed the Slo...

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Inhuman treatment and threats to the lives of Belarusian political prisoners must stop

Paris-Minsk, 4 October 2011

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organisation in Belarus, Human Rights Center “Viasna”, strongly condemn the inhuman treatment of political prisoners in Belarusian prisons. Reliable sources indicate that psychological and physical pressure continues on political prisoners still in detention in Belarus, including death threats, unjustified transfers and appalling health care provision.

Death threats and unjustified transfers

Former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikau, sentenced to 5 years imprisonment on 1 May 2011, has been subjected to constant psychological and physical pressure from Belarusian prison authorities...

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FIDH report on the restrictions to the political civil rights of citizens of Belarus after the 2010 presidential elections

FIDH presents its report on the restrictions to the political and civil rights of citizens of Belarus after the 2010 presidential elections at press conference in Minsk.

Restrictions_on_the_Political_and_Civil_Rights_of_Citizens_Following_the_2010_Presidential_Election.pdf
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12 July 2011

Today, in Minsk, FIDH representatives hold a press conference to present the fact-finding mission report on the situation in Belarus...

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FIDH calls for the immediate and unconditionnal release of its Vice-president Ales Bialiatski

4 August 2011

FIDH expresses its deepest concern following the arrest today of Aliaksandr (Ales) Bialiatski, FIDH Vice-President and President of Human Rights Center Viasna.

A group of people in plain clothes surrounded the office of HRC “Viasna” in Minsk. Members of HRC “Viasna” immediately left the office and locked the door. They heard one of the plain-clothes individuals saying through his phone that “Bialiatski [was] not [t]here”.

At about 4.30 pm, Mr. Bialiatski was arrested on the street in the centre of Minsk by the police representative of the Department of Financial Investigations.

At the time of writing, the police were in the process of conducting a search of his home...

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