News for May 2010

Joint Statement by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’

31.05.2010 Joint Statement by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member-organization in Belarus Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’ express deep concern about the wave of new repressive actions (searches, interrogations and arrests) in respect of civil society activists, human rights activists, independent journalists and political opponents as well as in connection with the general deterioration of human rights situation in the country.

Opposition activist from Mahiliou detained after Young Front congress

31.05.2010 Opposition activist from Mahiliou detained after Young Front congress

Uladzimir Zorki from Mahiliou ended up being detained and interrogated by special agents after the 7th founding congress of the Malady Front (Young Front) organization.

The policemen arrested the young man on October Square, when he was with his friends in the center of Minsk awaiting his train to Mahiliou, Young Front spokesman Stanislau Stesik told Euroradio.

Supreme Court upholds registration denial to Belarusian branch of international human rights group

28.05.2010 Supreme Court upholds registration denial to Belarusian branch of international human rights group

The Supreme Court of Belarus has dismissed an appeal filed by founders of a Belarusian branch of the Ukrainian-based International Helsinki Association for Human Rights against the denial of registration by the justice ministry.

The Court pronounced the judgment on May 26.

UN Human Rights Committee registers complaints by Brest pro-dem activists

28.05.2010 UN Human Rights Committee registers complaints by Brest pro-dem activists

The UN Human Rights Committee registered communications by four Brest pro-democratic activists Dzianis Turchaniak, Iryna Laurouskaya, Valery Faminski and Raman Kisliak under # 1948/2010.

Amnesty International’s Report is a signal for Belarusian authorities, say human rights activists

28.05.2010 Amnesty International’s Report is a signal for Belarusian authorities, say human rights activists

Belarusian human rights activists say that the annual Report 2010 released by the Amnesty International human rights organization is a grave signal for the Belarusian authorities to promptly start the liberalization of the national legislation and bring the means of its implementation in accordance with the international standards in the field of civil and political rights.

28.05.2010 UCP Hrodna activist faces civil charges

Dzmitry Bandarchuk, Hrodna activist of the United Civil Party, is charged with illegal distribution of the ‘Novy Chas’ independent newspaper.

Homel authorities ban event marking International Children’s Day

27.05.2010 Homel authorities ban event marking International Children’s Day

Homel human rights activists Leanid Sudalenka and Anatol Paplauny were refused to hold a meeting marking the International Children’s Day on 1 June. The authorities argue that the activists failed to pay the expenses of the police, medical and sanitary services.

Amnesty International’s Report 2010 condemns human rights abuses in Belarus

27.05.2010 Amnesty International’s Report 2010 condemns human rights abuses in Belarus

The Amnesty International human rights organization released its annual Report ‘Amnesty International Report 2010: State of the World's Human Rights’, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports. The Report stresses that ‘powerful governments are blocking advances in international justice by standing above the law on human rights, shielding allies from criticism and acting only when politically convenient.’

Brest Viasna makes another attempt to register

27.05.2010 Brest Viasna makes another attempt to register

On 25 May the Human Rights Public Association ‘Brest Viasna’ submitted an application for registration to the Chief Justice Department of Brest City Executive Committee. This is the organization’s seventh attempt to obtain state registration since 2004.

27.05.2010 U.S. Congress to hold hearings on human rights in Belarus

This decision was made after the meeting between American politicians and Movement for Freedom leader Alexander Milinkevich.

According to the movement's press office, Milinkevich met with former United States Ambassador to Belarus Karen Stewart who is now Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Helsinki Commission Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee Hastings, Congressman Christopher Smith who authored Belarus Democracy Act and other politicians.

27.05.2010 Iryna Khalip: "It's high time to finish all this story"

A journalist Iryna Khalip was interrogated in the police department of Pershamajski district today.

First Puseu, interrogating officer from Homel, familiarized her with the results of the expert examination of the notebook sezied from her place during a search on March 16.

Police experts have found out that cryptographic software was installed at the computer, and the computer also had programs for communication. The expert could not have access to mailboxes of Khalip as "it is necessary to know passwords for that", as the expert wrote.

Belgium national to appeal illegal arrest by Belarusian police

27.05.2010 Belgium national to appeal illegal arrest by Belarusian police

Today, on 27 May, a Belgium citizen Adrien Baudouin lodged a complaint with Minsk Maskouski Court, appealing against illegal actions by the police on 17 May, when he was illegally detained together with other participants of an educational event – screening of a film.

The Death Penalty: In Search of Official Statistics

26.05.2010 The Death Penalty: In Search of Official Statistics

299 death sentences have been executed in Belarus since 1985, the BelaPAN news agency reports. The figure is based on the agency’s own estimations and the data provided by the Amnesty International human rights group. However, the official number of executed has not yet been made public.

Civil service in Belarus?

25.05.2010 Civil service in Belarus?

Will a bill on alternative service be passed in Belarus? An international forum on the issue is being held in Minsk, Radio Racyja reports. Its aim is to foster the solution of the issue by encouraging the Belarusian Parliament members to consider the introduction of the civil service in the near future. The forum, arranged by Mikhas Pashekvich, leader of the campaign 'For Alternative Civil Service in Belarus', is attended by representatives of NGOs from the majority CIS countries.

Artsyom Dubski released

25.05.2010 Artsyom Dubski released

Political prisoner Artsyom Dubski has been taken from a penal colony and released at the railway station in Mahilou early in the morning.

Those wanting to meet Artsyom at the gates of colony #16 had to go to the station, Radio Svaboda reports.

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