News for 22 May 2013

22.05.2013 Belarusian laws, policies restrict religious freedom, US report says

The Belarusian constitution guarantees religious freedom, but other laws and policies restrict it, according to the International Religious Freedom Report for 2012 released by the US Department of State.

22.05.2013 Secretary general expresses hope that Belarus will join Council of Europe

Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary general of the Council of Europe, expressed hope on Tuesday that Belarus would join the organization and ratify the European Convention on Human Rights.

Autukhovich: Why do the opposition leaders reject the main demand – complete rehabilitation of political prisoners?

22.05.2013 Autukhovich: Why do the opposition leaders reject the main demand – complete rehabilitation of political prisoners?

In his recent, the political prisoner letter writes about hopes for an early release from prison of political leaders and civil society activists.

Mahiliou activists of Metalworkers’ Free Trade Union harassed by KGB

22.05.2013 Mahiliou activists of Metalworkers’ Free Trade Union harassed by KGB

It is reported by the local union leader Halina Lisitsyna. On 21 May, she was visited by KGB agents, but she refused to talk without a subpoena.

Baranavichy authorities ban Milavidy festival

22.05.2013 Baranavichy authorities ban Milavidy festival

Baranavichy executive committee issued another ban on holding Milavidy festival dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Milavidy during the 1863 anti-Russian Uprising. Previously, we reported that the cultural and educational event was scheduled for June 2, but the executive committee dismissed local activists’ bid, saying that “on this day and in this place the cultural department of Baranavichy district executive committee scheduled its own event in connection with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Milavidy, so the holding of another event on the subject is not appropriate.”

22.05.2013 Dunja Mijatović to Visit Belarus

A training seminar on Internet media will be held on June 3 in Minsk.

22.05.2013 Volha Zavadskaya: “It is frightful to think that Dzima’s case will go to archives…”

May 21, a party was held in Minsk to remember the abduction of the cameraman Dzmitry Zavadski.

22.05.2013 Is using e-mail safe in Belarus?

Largest Belarusian e-mail service tut.by gives away private correspondence on a request by special services. The platform’s owner Jury Zisser told that on his blog on Facebook.

Another free trade union activist loses job in Mikashevichy

22.05.2013 Another free trade union activist loses job in Mikashevichy

Leanid Dubanosau, excavator operator at the major “Granite” state-owned enterprise, learned this last evening when he first went to work after a holiday, but was not admitted to his working place for the night shift.

22.05.2013 Pensioner fined for "Chaser" coat-of-arms on a balcony

Activist in Hlybokaye, Vitsebsk region gets fined for 'spoiling the appearance of the building'.

22.05.2013 European Parliament's rapporteur recommends suspension of travel bans against Belarusian officials

Minsk, 21 May. Justas Paleckis, the European Parliament's rapporteur on Belarus, has recommended the suspension of the visa ban against key Belarusian officials.

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