PACE tagged posts

PACE President meets with Ales Bialiatski upon his release

Visit by  Mr Bialiatski.Visite de M. Bialiatski.

On July 3, Ales Bialiatski, President of the Belarusian human rights centre Viasna and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and FIDH President Karim Lahidji met in Strasbourg with Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

Mrs Brasseur used this opportunity to congratulate Mr Bialiatski in person, on behalf of the Assembly, on the award of the first Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize. The Prize was awarded to Mr Bialiatski by the Assembly in September 2013, but the laureate, imprisoned since 2011, was unable to attend the ceremony. The President discussed with Mr Bialiatski the human rights situation in Belarus and the role that the Assembly needs to play to improve it.

Mr Bialiatski is for us a symbol of an un...

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Dialogue between PACE and Belarus should remain conditional on the release of political prisoners


The Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy made the following statement:

“The committee welcomes the Assembly decision to award the first ever Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, which honours outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights, to Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, and believes that he is a symbol of all human rights defenders facing repression in Belarus.

Following a hearing on 2 October in Strasbourg with the participation of Natallia Radzina, Editor-in-chief of the independent Belarusian news site and Aliaksandr Lahviniec, Vice-Chairperson of the Movement for Freedom, the committee is deeply concerned about the conditions of political prisoners and allegations of violence, torture and forced psychiatric treatment...

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PACE Rapporteurs warn against threatened execution in Belarus

pace rapporteurs death penalty in belarus

Strasbourg, 13.06.2013 – Marina Schuster (Germany, ALDE), the General Rapporteur on the abolition of the death penalty for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), and Andres Herkel (Estonia, EPP/CD), Rapporteur on the situation in Belarus, have expressed deep concern at press reports according to which another death sentence was handed down in Belarus yesterday.

Belarus is the only country in Europe still applying the death penalty. We can only call on the competent authorities to avoid taking another step away from the family of European nations which has done away with this cruel and inhuman punishment, a relic of another age,” they said.

Referring to the Parliamentary Assembly’s Resolution 1857 (2012), Schuster stated that the Council of Europe will continue i...

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PACE replies to the recommandation on the situation in Belarus

September 18, 2012

The situation in Belarus

Reply to Recommendation 1992 (2012) was adopted at the 1149th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (September 12, 2012).

1. The Committee of Ministers informs the Parliamentary Assembly that the following reply was adopted by a majority as provided by Article 20 (d) of the Statute.

2. The Committee of Ministers has carefully examined Recommendation 1992 (2012) on “The situation in Belarus”, also in the light of Resolution 1857 (2012) of the Parliamentary Assembly.

3. The Committee of Ministers understands the Assembly’s concern regarding the deteriorating situation of human rights and political liberties in Belarus...

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Andres Henkel : Who Are the Political Prisoners in Europe?

Andres Henkel, PACE rapporteur on the situation in Belarus :  

The texte was prepared  for the Fallen Freedom Fighter’s Day conference

in Tartu on 25 March 2012.

Some days ago I was in springtime Oslo. The conference was dedicated to the situation in Belarus and it was organised by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee in cooperation with the Norwegian PEN Club. At the dinner, one of the hosts had tears in her eyes. Why? The lady said that nothing at all would change, people were suffering. And not only in Belarus. I could not comfort her in any other way but by saying that history is full of indescribable horrors...
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PACE declaration in support with Bialiatski and his nomination as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Price

25 January 2012

In support of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Price to Ales Bialiatski, Belarusian Human Rights Defender

We, parliamentarians of the member states of the Council of Europe, strongly support the idea of awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the distinguished Belarusian activist and the human rights defender – Ales Bialiatski. 

Ales Bialiatski, sentenced to 4,5 years of hard labour, has never been a politician. His only fault is that, being a sensitive person, he stood alongside the victims of the antidemocratic regime, helped them and took care of their families. We demand his release.

The People of the Free Europe will never abandon the citizens of Belarus, who are fully entitled to exercise the same rights as we do.

Signed (see overleaf)

Signed: 1

HALICKI Andrzej, Poland, EPP...

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PACE adopts resolution on Belarus

On January 25, 111 PACE members voted “for”, only 10 voted “against”, and 6 PACE members abstained.

The PACE’s Political Committee is deeply concerned by the constantly deteriorating situation with human rights, political and civil freedoms in Belarus, condemns repressions and pressure against the dissidents. This is stated in PACE’s draft resolution on Belarus, which is to be voted on today in Strasbourg.

The document “fully supports EU’s targeted sanctions, which should be expanded, and urges the countries of the Council of Europe to join them, until all political prisoners are released and rehabilitated, and repressions against political opponents, representatives of the civil society and human rights defenders are stopped”...

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PACE rapporteur paints gloomy picture of situation in Belarus

January 25, 2012 – Andres Herkel, the rapporteur for Belarus in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), painted a bleak picture of the situation in Belarus while presenting his report at PACE’s winter session in Strasbourg. 

The Estonian MP said that Belarus was always high on the agenda of the PACE Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, although the Committee’s members had already grown tired of bad news from the country. 

Mr. Herkel said that he had been denied an opportunity to visit Belarus and meet with imprisoned opposition politicians Andrey Sannikaw, Mikalay Statkevich and Zmitser Dashkevich and convicted human rights defender Ales Bialiatski. 

According to the rapporteur, his report is based on information provided by Belarusian human rights defende...

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PACE rapporteurs deplore Belarus’ sentencing to prison of Ales Bialiatski

Strasbourg, 24.11.2011 – The Pervomaiski District Court of Minsk sentenced today human rights defender Ales Bialiatski to four and a half years of imprisonment under strict regime conditions, the confiscation of property and a fine for “concealment of profits on an especially large scale in pursuance of prior agreements” under Article 243, part 2, of the Belarus Criminal Code.

“We consider that the trial and detention of Mr Bialiatski, held since 4 August 2011, amounts to judicial harassment of a human rights defender for carrying out legitimate human rights activities, protected under all international human rights instruments” stressed Mr Andres Herkel (Estonia, EPP) and Ms Marieluise Beck (Germany, ALDE), PACE rapporteurs on Belarus, reacting to the sentence.

Article 193...

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PACE Bureau expresses consternation at Bialiatski sentence in Belarus

Strasbourg, 24.11.2011 – The Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), meeting today in Edinburgh, expressed its consternation at the harsh sentence handed down today on Belarusian human rights defender Ales Bialiatski by the Pervomaiski District Court of Minsk. Mr Bialiatski was sentenced to four and a half years’ imprisonment under a strict regime, confiscation of property and a fine for “concealment of profits on an especially large scale in pursuance of prior agreements” under Article 243, paragraph 2, of the Criminal Code.

The Bureau considers that this latest sentence on the basis of falsely constructed and politically motivated charges epitomises the continuing systematic crackdown by the authorities in Minsk on members of the opposition, indepe...

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