political prisoners 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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UN Special Rapporteur Miklós Haraszti: Ales Bialiatski released, but other political prisoners remain in jail

Miklos Haraszti

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, welcomed the release from prison of human rights defender Ales Bialiatski, but called for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and their full rehabilitation.

Bialiatski, founder of the Human Rights Centre Viasna, recipient of various human rights awards and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, was sentenced in November 2011 for tax evasion to four-and-a-half years in prison and confiscation of all his assets.

“In fact, the trumped-up charges against Bialiatski were directly linked to the fact that NGO activity is heavily curtailed by restricting access to funding,” the independent expert said.

Viasna, which has provided legal assistance to Belarusians arrested or imp...

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Ales Bialiatski : Belarus should be a country without political prisoners

On June 23, the Minsk office of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”  hosted a press conference of the organization’s leader and vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights, Ales Bialiatski, who was released on Saturday after almost three years of arbitrary detention. The political prisoner was released from penal colony No. 2 in Babruisk on June 21, after a bill on amnesty entered into force.

“To serve time in prison term for a democratic, independent Belarus – it is normal,” Ales Bialiatski said in the beginning of the press-conference. He crossed out his name on the T-shirt with the list of Belarusian political prisoners.

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Photos by Siarhei Hudzilin, nn.by

“We should not fear pressure and crackdown...

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Ales Bialiatski released!

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Prominent Belarusian human rights activist, Vice-President of FIDH and President of Human Rights Centre “Viasna”,  Ales Bialiatski has arrived in Minsk after he was released from prison.

He was welcomed at a Minsk train station by his wife Natalya Pinchuk, his collegues, friends and journalists.

Ales Bialiatski told reporters he was released under an amnesty law that came into force on June 21.

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Open letter to the UN Human Rights Committee by Natalia Pinchuk and Antoine Bernard

Antoine Bernard, Chief Executive Officer of FIDH, and Natalia Pinchuk, Ales Bialiatski’s wife, the authors of an individual submission made two years ago on behalf of Ales Bialiatski, President of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” in Belarus and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), have submitted an open letter to the UN Human Rights Committee requesting the Committee to give urgent priority to examining this complaint.

Valentin Stefanovich, Vice-President of HRC “Viasna”, commented that “The submission on behalf of Ales Bialiatski regarding his wrongful imprisonment resulting from a violation of his rights was submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee on 12 April 2012. This submission stated that Mr...

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Former political prisoner Malchanau faces criminal persecution again

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A criminal case for the “desecration the state symbols” has been resumed against former political prisoner Aliaksnadr Malchanau.
“They haven’t explained anything, but I know exactly that the case was closed long ago. I was informed recently that it was resumed. No one questioned me or demanded to geive evidence. None of my friends were called to the Investigation Committee or other agencies,” Aliaksandr Malchanau said.The former political prisoner said a criminal case for the “desecration of the state symbols” had been opened against him after the release from prison for taking part in the post-election protests.

“I was accused of hanging out green-red flags with some slogans...

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While the World Ice Hockey Championship takes place, violations continue … Video n°3

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Belarus is hosting the World Ice Hockey Championship, which started last Friday and will end on 25 May.

FIDH has made 3 short animated films to denounce the human rights violations taking place in Belarus. These abuses cannot be camouflaged by the Championship.

After the first two films about enforced labour and political prisoners in Belarus, see the third one.

Together, we can all help to denounce these violations very easily by circulating these short films on our social networks : Facebook, Instagram and Youtube

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Swiss human rights defenders support civil society of Belarus

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Amnesty International’s Swiss branch calls Belarusian authorities for “fair play in the field of human rights” within an advocacy campaign coinciding with the World Ice Hockey Championship in Minsk

Human rights defenders from the Amnesty International inform different groups of the population about gross human rights violations in a country hosting a global sport event, and collect signatures under a petition calling for immediate and unconditional release of the Belarusian prisoners of consciousness – Mikalai Statkevich, Eduard Lobau and Ales Bialatski, and for the abolition of death penalty and all repressive laws.

 “Our campaign is continuation of the last year’s campaign for the abolition of the death penalty in Belarus, and continuation of our work to support prisoners of cons...

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Political prisoner Andrei Haidukou released from Vitebsk jail

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Andrei Haidukou was told to collect his belongings at 6 a.m., though prisoners are usually released from jail around 11 a.m. At 7 a.m., Andrei was put into police car and was brought to the Vitebsk station.

Now Andrei is in Vitebsk, and he is about to leave for his home in Navapolatsk. He said on the phone that he considers his criminal case completely fabricated. He also noted that the case was a provocation against his organization.

On 8 November 2012, Andrei Haidukou was detained by KGB officers and put to the KGB investigative isolation facility.

On November 2012, the KGB disseminated the information about the suspension of criminal activity of a Belarusian citizen who was collecting and passing information of political and economic character at the instruction of a foreign secret ser...

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Sport for sport : appeal by Human rights organisations to the Governments of the countries participating in the 2014 World Ice Hokey Championship to be held in Minsk

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The World Ice Hockey Championship will be held from 9 to 25 May 2014, in Minsk (Belarus).

We, as representatives of both international and national human rights organizations (see list of signatories below), welcome this unique possibility for Belarusian people to enjoy the sportive competition hosted by their country and the universal values of sport.

Going far beyond these values, the country’s top administration, including President A. Lukashenko, has repeatedly underscored that the World Ice Hockey Championship is an important political event...

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