PA OSCE tagged posts

Bialiatski’s release “hopefully a sign of more to come,” says OSCE PA’s Holm

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Christian Holm (MP, Sweden), the Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Ad Hoc Working Group on Belarus, welcomed the release of human rights activist Ales Bialiatski after nearly three years into his prison term, calling the move “hopefully a sign of more to come.”

The Belarusian government has taken a positive, if long overdue, step in releasing Mr. Bialiatski. His release will not be complete, however, unless authorities allow him and his colleagues in the Belarusian civil society community to work free of state persecution. Mr...

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PA OSCE calls for release of political prisoners in Belarus

PA OSCE Istanbul declaration on Belarus

At the 22nd Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, held in Istanbul from 29 June to 3 July 2013, the OSCE committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions adopted a following resolution on Belarus :

RESOLUTION ON BELARUS

1.    Recalling the resolutions on Belarus adopted by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), as well as the Joint Declaration of the OSCE PA Ad Hoc Working Group on Belarus and the delegation from the Belarusian National Assembly on future co-operation signed in 2004 (Edinburgh),
2.    Noting the efforts of the OSCE Chairmanships in re-establishing the OSCE field presence in Minsk and in establishing a meaningful dialogue between OSCE institutions with Belarus as an OSCE participating State,
3...

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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...

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Competition limited in Belarus elections as many democratic rights not respected, international observers say

MINSK, 24 September 2012 – Many OSCE commitments on citizen’s democratic rights to associate, to stand as candidates and to express themselves freely were not respected in yesterday’s parliamentary elections in Belarus, concluded the international observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA).

The elections were not administered in an impartial manner and the complaints and appeals process did not guarantee effective remedy, the observers found.

“This election was not competitive from the start,” said Matteo Mecacci, Special Co-ordinator, who led the short-term OSCE observer mission...

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OSCE PA calls for release of Belarusian rights defender

COPENHAGEN, 25 November 2011 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly leaders today expressed deep disappointment with yesterday’s ruling in the case of Ales Bialiatski, leader of the Belarusian human rights organization Viasna.

On 24 November, the Pervomaiski District Court of Minsk sentenced Bialiatski to four and a half years in prison, confiscation of property and a fine for “concealment of profits on an especially large scale in pursuance of prior agreements.”

“Rule of law is a key element in a developed, democratic society. We have been following the developments with Belarus with grave concern,” said PA President Petros Efthymiou. “After observing the 2010 elections and the post-election trials, the OSCE called for significant reform of the justice system in this participating State...

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Matteo Mecacci, chair of the OSCE PA Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, calls for release of human rights activist in Belarus

September 1, 2011, COPENHAGEN

Matteo Mecacci (Italy), chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions today called on Belarusian authorities to immediately cease the harassment of human rights activists, including Ales Bialiatski.

Bialiatski, president of the Human Rights Centre Viasna, an unregistered NGO working to promote human rights and democracy in Belarus, has been detained by the authorities on charges of tax evasion connected the organization’s bank account in Vilnius, Lithuania.

While a handful of political prisoners connected to the December 2010 post-election demonstrations have seen charges against them dismissed, many others remain behind bars.

 “It is unacceptable that in the heart of Europe, civic activities, such as ...

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