News for August 2015

Observer faces ban on monitoring signature verification in Salihorsk

31.08.2015 Observer faces ban on monitoring signature verification in Salihorsk

Leanid Markhotka, a representative of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, was unable to attend the procedure of verifying signatures submitted for the nomination of presidential contenders to the Salihorsk district election commission. Instead, the independent observer was invited to the final meeting of the election commission, which approved the decision taken earlier.

Disabled activist from Svietlahorsk seeks justice at UN Human Rights Committee

31.08.2015 Disabled activist from Svietlahorsk seeks justice at UN Human Rights Committee

Yury Liashenka, a wheelchair-user from the city of Svietlahorsk, has submitted an individual complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee, after he exhausted all domestic remedies. He complains of harassment by the government for trying to publicly protest the refusal of local officials to build a ramp outside a multistory building in which the disabled activist lives.

Human Rights Situation in Belarus: August 2015

31.08.2015 Human Rights Situation in Belarus: August 2015

On August 22, it was reported that President Aliaksandr Lukashenka pardoned and released from prison six political prisoners: Mikalai Statkevich, Mikalai Dziadok, Ihar Alinevich, Yury Rubtsou, Artsiom Prakapenka, and Yauhen Vaskovich. Despite the absence of any systemic changes in the field of human rights, the move of the authorities can be assessed as positive.

BPF activists appeal ban on election commission membership in Sluck and Salihorsk

31.08.2015 BPF activists appeal ban on election commission membership in Sluck and Salihorsk

The Minsk regional office of the Party of the Belarusian Popular Front and the Minsk regional branch of the public association BPF "Adradžennie" have sent complaints to the courts of Sluck and Salihorsk districts to challenge refusals to include their representatives in local precinct election commissions.

Election officials in Hrodna invalidate 11,000 signatures for Viktar Tsiareshchanka

31.08.2015 Election officials in Hrodna invalidate 11,000 signatures for Viktar Tsiareshchanka

The election commissions of Hrodna’s Lieninski and Kastryčnicki districts have found invalid all the 11,509 signatures that were handed over by the nomination group of presidential contender Viktar Tsiareshchanka.

Observers ask to double-check signatures in Maladziečna

28.08.2015 Observers ask to double-check signatures in Maladziečna

Eduard Balanchuk and Aliaksandr Kaputski, observers accredited in Maladziečna, have written to the District Prosecutor’s Office to complain about a violation of electoral legislation during the registration of signature sheets for the nomination of presidential contenders.

Hrodna district: Only pro-dem candidate not included in precinct election commission

28.08.2015 Hrodna district: Only pro-dem candidate not included in precinct election commission

The administration of the Hrodna regional executive committee has held a meeting to form local precinct election commissions. As a result, 36 commissions were formed within just 15 minutes.

Report on the results of monitoring the formation of precinct election commissions

28.08.2015 Report on the results of monitoring the formation of precinct election commissions

Observation of the election of the President of Belarus is carried out by activists of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights Center "Viasna" in the framework of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections".

Salihorsk: officials classify procedure of forming election commissions

28.08.2015 Salihorsk: officials classify procedure of forming election commissions

Leanid Markhotka, a representative of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee in Salihorsk, had asked local authorities to provide him with an opportunity to scrutinize the documents submitted by nominees to the precinct election commissions. However, the officials rejected the observer’s request, therefore turning into a secret the procedure of formation of election commissions.

Astraviec: UCP member appeals ban on membership in precinct election commission

28.08.2015 Astraviec: UCP member appeals ban on membership in precinct election commission

Mikalai Ulasevich, a member of the United Civil Party, has filed a complaint in the Astraviec District Court against the district executive committee which refused to include him in one of the local precinct election commissions.

Only 31 opposition representatives in precinct election commissions

28.08.2015 Only 31 opposition representatives in precinct election commissions

The formation of precinct election commissions (PECs) was completed on August 26. "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections" have counted the number of members and the percentage of opposition activists in the commissions.

Part of signatures for Viktar Tsiareshchanka printed, says observer in Mahilioŭ

28.08.2015 Part of signatures for Viktar Tsiareshchanka printed, says observer in Mahilioŭ

A portion of signature sheets submitted for the nomination of presidential contender Viktar Tsiareshchanka have been printed, instead of being handwritten, says human rights activist Aliaksei Kolchyn, who attended yesterday’s meeting of the Lieninski district election commission in Mahilioŭ.

Another Belarusian citizen wins complaint against Belarus at UN Human Rights Committee

27.08.2015 Another Belarusian citizen wins complaint against Belarus at UN Human Rights Committee

On July 15, the UN Human Rights Committee once again found a violation by the Republic of Belarus of freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

Only one representative of opposition on election commissions in Sluck

27.08.2015 Only one representative of opposition on election commissions in Sluck

712 people have been included in the 69 precinct election commissions of Sluck district, with only one representative of the opposition.

27.08.2015 UN Special Rapporteur: Release of political prisoners without rehabilitation is half step

Miklós Haraszti, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, welcomes the release of six Belarusian political prisoners.

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