News for January 2016

Freelance journalist Kanstantsin Zhukouski faces fresh charges

29.01.2016 Freelance journalist Kanstantsin Zhukouski faces fresh charges

Kanstantsin Zhukouski, a freelance journalist in Homieĺ, has received a phone call from an employee of the Vietka district police department who said that the journalist faced administrative charges and was invited to testify in the case. However, Mr. Zhukouski refused to come saying that he saw no reason to give evidence, as his case was politically motivated.

Human rights activists meet with OSCE ODIHR Director Michael Georg Link

29.01.2016 Human rights activists meet with OSCE ODIHR Director Michael Georg Link

Representatives of the political opposition and the campaign “Human Rights Defenders For Free Elections” have met today with Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), to discuss the overall situation in Belarus following the October 2015 presidential election.

Concerted position by Belarusian human rights organisations on priorities in shaping the strategy of international partners' relations with Belarus

28.01.2016 Concerted position by Belarusian human rights organisations on priorities in shaping the strategy of international partners' relations with Belarus

We regard further improvement of the human rights situation as a top priority for both Belarusian human rights defenders and international partners in shaping the strategy for relations with Belarus.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2016: “Overall human rights situation in Belarus in 2015 did not improve”

28.01.2016 Human Rights Watch World Report 2016: “Overall human rights situation in Belarus in 2015 did not improve”

“President Aliaksander Lukashenka released on humanitarian grounds six opposition figures who had been imprisoned on politically motivated charges, but the overall human rights situation in Belarus in 2015 did not improve,” said Human Rights Watch in its annual World Report 2016.

28.01.2016 OSCE Representative condemns police violence against journalist in Belarus

VIENNA, 27 January 2016 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today condemned an attack against a journalist by police officers in Belarus, and called on the authorities to ensure journalists’ safety.

Man in Ivacevičy complains about police-related violence

28.01.2016 Man in Ivacevičy complains about police-related violence

Siarhei Dyliuk, 57, has been reportedly beaten by police officers during interrogation at the Ivacevičy department of internal affairs on January 23. According to him, he was forced to sign a confession to stealing his neighbor’s TV tuner, as he feared the police officers could kill him.

27.01.2016 BAJ Demands Criminal Investigation into the Fact of Beating a Journalist

On January 26, the Board of BAJ made a statement concerning yesterday’s beating of Pavel Dabravolski, journalist of TUT.by, in the building of Frunzenski district court of Minsk.

Amnesty International asks to commute death sentence handed down to Henadz Yakavitski

26.01.2016 Amnesty International asks to commute death sentence handed down to Henadz Yakavitski

President Lukashenka should "halt any planned executions and immediately commute the death sentence handed down to Gennadii Yakovitskii (Henadz Yakavitski) and all others sentenced to death in Belarus", says an urgent action press-release by Amnesty International of January 25.

26.01.2016 Death convict escapes extradition to UAE, released from jail in Belarus

Pyotr Ivanik, a Russian national sentenced to death in the United Arab Emirates for having ordered the murder of his business partner back in 2011, has been released from jail No. 1 in Minsk, according to Aleh Khlyshchenka, head of the international legal department of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Belarus.

25.01.2016 Pavel Sevyarynets stands trial in absentia

Minsk Maksouski District Court has punished Pavel Sevyarynets for the action held on November 24, 2015. The trial was held on January 19. The opposition politician got to know about it by accident and too late. The sentence was pronounced in his absence, he believes.

KGB Suspends Criminal Case against Alesin

25.01.2016 KGB Suspends Criminal Case against Alesin

The Committee for State Security (KGB) informed Aliaksandr Alesin last week, the prosecution against the journalist had been suspended.

Activists beaten, fined over support for ‘graffiti case’ defendants

25.01.2016 Activists beaten, fined over support for ‘graffiti case’ defendants

Several activists displayed a banner reading “No To Political Persecution” at the beginning of today’s hearing in the ‘graffiti case’. They also chanted, “Art Is No Crime”. Then they were forcibly taken out of the courtroom.

Human Rights Situation in Belarus in 2015. Analytical review

24.01.2016 Human Rights Situation in Belarus in 2015. Analytical review

In general, in 2015 there were no systemic changes aimed at qualitative improvement of the human rights situation in the country. Basic civil and political rights were still limited at the legislative level. Despite the overall decline in the scale of repression, the level of control over society remained extremely high.

Henadz Yakavitski Appeals against Death Sentence

21.01.2016 Henadz Yakavitski Appeals against Death Sentence

On January 20, the resident of Vileyka Henadz Yakavitski lodged a cassational appeal to the Supreme Court against the death sentence rendered on January 5 by the Minsk Regional Court.

Requested Extradition to Be Fulfilled Only with Guarantees of Retrial

21.01.2016 Requested Extradition to Be Fulfilled Only with Guarantees of Retrial

The citizen of Russia Piotr Ivanik, who is now jailed in Mink detention facility No1 in Valadarski street, was sentenced to death by the United Arab Emirates and is awaiting extradition.

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