News for December 2009

Ministry of Information upholds warning to Narodnaya Volia

21.12.2009 Ministry of Information upholds warning to Narodnaya Volia

The Ministry of Information named the warning issued to the Narodnaya Volia independent newspaper on 17 November groundless. The official letter signed by Minister of Information Aleh Praliaskouski states that the newspaper disseminated prohibited information, since ‘the article published by the newspaper contained extremist appeals.’

OSCE delegation discuss amendments to electoral code with opposition

21.12.2009 OSCE delegation discuss amendments to electoral code with opposition

On its two-day visit to Minsk, the OSCE delegation held a meeting with representatives of various pro-democratic forces of Belarus, including Anatol Liabedzka, Siarhei Kaliakin, Anatol Liaukovich, Yury Hubarevich, Vital Rymasheuski and Dzmitry Dashkevich.

21.12.2009 Assembly of NGOs: another attempt of registration

On 18 December the Assembly of Belarusian Pro-Democratic NGOs held a meeting in attempt to receive state registration, earlier this year their previous application was turned down by the authorities.

21.12.2009 Baranavichy human rights activists lodge complaint with local prosecutor’s office

A number of Baranavichy human rights activists – S.Housha, V.Syrytsa and V.Bolbat – have lodged a complaint with the local prosecutor’s office against the town authorities, who failed to respond in due time to the activists’ application for holding a picket on the International Human Rights Day.

Union of Poles: new repressions

18.12.2009 Union of Poles: new repressions

Representatives of the economic crimes department of Valozhyn district police are currently interrogating the leaders of the Union of Poles’ Ivianets office, including the Union’s chair Mrs. Andżelika Borys, Radio Racyja reports.

Minsk not to abandon death penalty soon

18.12.2009 Minsk not to abandon death penalty soon

Belarus will not be able to abandon the death penalty in the near future, says Barys Batura, chair of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly, and therefore the authorities are not so far ready to implement the requirements of the Council of Europe and declare a moratorium on capital punishment.

European Parliament notes lack of democratic progress in Belarus

17.12.2009 European Parliament notes lack of democratic progress in Belarus

The European Parliament on Thursday voted to adopt a resolution on the situation in Belarus, which notes that the country's authorities have failed to make significant progress in the sphere of human rights and freedoms "after initial positive steps."

Brest Prosecutor’s Office turns down complaint by Young Front activist Mikhas Ilyin

17.12.2009 Brest Prosecutor’s Office turns down complaint by Young Front activist Mikhas Ilyin

Brest Leninski Prosecutor’s Office turns down complaint by Young Front member Mikhas Ilyin, urging to prosecute unknown policemen and plain clothes persons who beat the activist during the 17 September picket in downtown Brest. Mikhas Ilyin says the decision is not fair, since the prosecutor’s supervision was far from being complete.

17.12.2009 Opposition activists demonstrate in downtown Minsk against political persecution

About 50 people staged an unauthorized demonstration in Minsk's downtown Kastrychnitskaya Square on December 16 to demand an end to alleged political persecution and commemorate the unsolved disappearances of four opponents of the government.

Amnesty International calls on Lukashenka to stop executions

16.12.2009 Amnesty International calls on Lukashenka to stop executions

The Amnesty International human rights organization calls on President Lukashenka to save two Belarusians from executions. Andrei Zhuk and Vasily Yuzepchuk are currently awaiting execution in Minsk. Their appeals have been turned down.

Both men have applied for clemency to President Alyaksandr Lukashenka - but Amnesty International knows of only one case in which clemency was granted since President Lukashenka took office in 1994.

For Freedom activist to pay 10 million to tax inspection

16.12.2009 For Freedom activist to pay 10 million to tax inspection

Homel Savetski Tax Inspection ordered Homel member of the For Freedom movement Uladzimer Katsora to pay 10 million roubles for the Civil Initiatives public association, closed down in 2003. Meanwhile, the activist says he has declared his retirement from the position of the head of liquidation commission of Civil Initiatives.

Hary Pahaniayla: ‘The state cannot be forced to commit murders itself’

16.12.2009 Hary Pahaniayla: ‘The state cannot be forced to commit murders itself’

Hary Pahaniayla, lawyer of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, expressed his view against the death penalty, in the framework of the campaign ‘Human Rights Activists against the Death Penalty in Belarus.’

Nasha Niva journalist arrested

16.12.2009 Nasha Niva journalist arrested

Nastassia Shamrei, reporter of the Nasha Niva independent newspaper, has been detained outside the building of the Iranian embassy on 16 December, the press-service of the Belarusian Association of Journalists reports. The journalist was arrested during a picket of support to ten Iranian gays sentenced to death.

15.12.2009 Ministry of Health Care discontinues medical treatment of death-sick woman

A woman who has a serious genetical illness needs an urgent surgical operation.

Supreme Court turns down lawsuit of Belarusian Party of Workers against Ministry of Justice

15.12.2009 Supreme Court turns down lawsuit of Belarusian Party of Workers against Ministry of Justice

As said to the BelaPAN by the leader of the organizing committee of the Belarusian Party of Workers Aliaksandr Bukhvostau, on 15 December the Supreme Court of Belarus didn’t grant the lawsuit of the party concerning its’ non-registration by the Ministry of Justice.

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