News for 20 Dec 2013

20.12.2013 Dzmitry Dashkevich receives first warning

Dzmitry Dashkevich, leader of the "Young Front" opposition movement, received first warning for violation of the rules of preventive police supervision, charter97.org reports.

20.12.2013 Former political prisoner Aliaksandr Malchanau faces extension of preventive supervision

Former political prisoner Aliaksandr Malchanau learned that Barysau police department filed a petition in court for an extension of preventive supervision, which is due to expire in January, Radio Liberty reports.

20.12.2013 Attempt to detain human rights activist for photographing on Kastrychnitskaya Square

Riot police officers thought a human rights activist was “following them and taking pictures”.

Supreme Court to decide how to inform journalists about executions and death sentences

20.12.2013 Supreme Court to decide how to inform journalists about executions and death sentences

Answering the question whether there will be any changes in the near future of how journalists can be informed about the imposition and execution of death sentences, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Court Valery Kalinkovich noted that this issue would be considered at the plenum of the Supreme Court.

Changes in the Electoral Code do not reflect essential criticism by independent observers

20.12.2013 Changes in the Electoral Code do not reflect essential criticism by independent observers

The first press conference of a campaign of monitoring the local elections of the 27th convocation was held today in Minsk. Human rights defenders Valiantsin Stefanovich (HRC "Viasna") and Aleh Hulak (BHC) spoke about the socio-political background, against which the elections will be held, as well as about changes to the Electoral Code, which, incidentally, do not reflect the fundamental observations and recommendations made by both Belarusian and foreign independent observers.

Opposition activist goes on hunger strike over arrest

20.12.2013 Opposition activist goes on hunger strike over arrest

Judge Viktorya Shabunia of Minsk Tsentralny District Court punished opposition activist Maksim Viniarski with an administrative arrest of 15 days for involvement in a picket of solidarity with Ukrine’s pro-EU protest, which was held outside the Embassy of Ukraine in Minsk on November 30.

Mother of inmate who died in Svetlahorsk prison goes to court

20.12.2013 Mother of inmate who died in Svetlahorsk prison goes to court

The decision to file a complaint was taken after Valiantsina Akulich received another runaround reply from district prosecutor Uladzimir Tarasenka, which showed the meaninglessness of further correspondence with prosecutors. Mr. Tarasenka considered the woman’s complaint, without studying the materials of a probe into the death of her son.

State-owned media disclose details about recent death convict Lykau

20.12.2013 State-owned media disclose details about recent death convict Lykau

The Investigative Committee told the major Sovetskaya Belorussia state-run daily certain details on the murders Eduard Lykau, who was sentenced to death in late November, committed. It is noteworthy that for one of the murders an innocent man spent seven years in prison.

Courts refuse to consider complaint of discrimination based on union affiliation

20.12.2013 Courts refuse to consider complaint of discrimination based on union affiliation

The Judicial Board on Civil Cases of the Brest Regional Court on December 19 was expected to consider a complaint of the trade union of electronic industry in the interests of its member Aliaksandr Sakharuk. The trade union’s lawyers asked to annul the conditions of his employment agreement and to eliminate discrimination at work.

Observatory condemns censorship of <em>Viasna </em>website

20.12.2013 Observatory condemns censorship of Viasna website

The Observatory has been informed of the continued harassment of the Belarusian Human Rights Centre “Viasna”.

Catherine Ashton calls on Belarus to join global moratorium on the death penalty

20.12.2013 Catherine Ashton calls on Belarus to join global moratorium on the death penalty

The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today: "The High Representative regrets the death sentence recently handed down to an individual by the Minsk Regional Court. She hopes that his right to appeal will be fully exercised."

UN Committee: Belarus should abolish forced labour

20.12.2013 UN Committee: Belarus should abolish forced labour

Belarus should abolish compulsory labour and ensure adequate protection of workers. This, among other important recommendations, was put forward by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) following its review of Belarus in November 2013.

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