News for 20 Nov 2009

20.11.2009 Death convict Andrei Zhuk pleas for mercy

Andrei Zhuk, sentenced to death for alleged murder of two persons, has lodged a plea for mercy with President Lukashenka. This is his last and only chance. Belarusian human rights activists believe that Andrei Zhuk should be pardoned. ‘We, as human rights defenders, call upon the Belarusian authorities to display humanism. Andrei Zhuk’s family have also addressed the President with a plea for mercy. Albeit lacking any legal effect, we do hope their appeal will be taken into consideration by the authorities, too,’ said Viasna’s lawyer Valiantsin Stefanovich.

Famous film director Zanussi condemns death penalty

20.11.2009 Famous film director Zanussi condemns death penalty

During his visit to the Listapad international film festival in Minsk, the world famous Polish film director Krzysztof Zanussi has commented on his view of the death penalty. ‘You know, in my country it was banned a long time ago. Pope John Paul II used to speak strongly, saying there was no justification for the death penalty in the modern world, though there perhaps used to be one before. Surely, from a human point of view, I am definitely opposed to it; it seems to me to be something absolutely unreal.

Mahiliouski chas newspaper denied registration again

20.11.2009 Mahiliouski chas newspaper denied registration again

The Ministry of Information has turned down the application for state registration by the Mahiliou-based Mahiliouski chas independent newspaper, claiming that the applicants failed to provide all the necessary documents.

BHC joins ENEMO

20.11.2009 BHC joins ENEMO

The Belarusian Helsinki Committee has become member of the ENEMO European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations. ENEMO is an association of civil NGOs from 16 Balkan, USSR and SEE countries. These NGOs are the leading organizations in their countries within Election monitoring area. All together, they have monitored over 110 national and international elections and trained over 100,000 observers. BHC is the second Belarusian NGO, after the Human Rights Center Viasna, to join the network.

Ministry of Information warned “Nasha Niva” for article about swine flu

20.11.2009 Ministry of Information warned “Nasha Niva” for article about swine flu

The Belarusian independent newspaper got an official explanation for the warning issued by the Ministry of Information on November 18.

As the press service of the Belarusian Association of Journalists reports, a ground for the warning was the article titled “Hushing up Flu Causes Panic Epidemic”, published in issue #41 of November 4.

The notice of the Ministry of Information signed by minister Uladzimir Rusakevich says that in accordance with article 34 of the Law on Mass Media of Belarus, a journalist must verify the data in order to spread only reliable information.

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