News for July 2016

Analytical Report on the Formation of Precinct Election Commissions

31.07.2016 Analytical Report on the Formation of Precinct Election Commissions

The absence of legislatively fixed criteria for candidates to election commissions still results in a highly partial approach to the personal composition of these commissions.

Formation of election commissions complete in Minsk

29.07.2016 Formation of election commissions complete in Minsk

710 commissions in Minsk include 8 502 people, 69.4 per cent from which are women. The majority are members of public associations – 6 968 people, including political party members – 2 630 people.

Assailant to spend one more year in jail after death of beating victim

29.07.2016 Assailant to spend one more year in jail after death of beating victim

On July 28, the Central district court of Minsk found Dzmitry Lukaševič guilty of manslaughter of Mikhail Piščeuski and sentenced him to three years in prison.

Court officers confiscate activists’ country house as penalty for pickets

29.07.2016 Court officers confiscate activists’ country house as penalty for pickets

Activist Nina Bahinskaya received a letter from court officers ordering her to vacate the premises of her country house in the village of Damashany; the house will be sold at an auction and the money will be used to compensate the fines that the activist “earned” during pickets.

Transparent Funds at all Stages is a Step to Fair Elections

28.07.2016 Transparent Funds at all Stages is a Step to Fair Elections

Within the campaign Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections, lawyer Pavel Sapielka analyzed possibilities for participants of parliamentary elections in terms of legislative norms that regulate financing of electoral campaign, and compared the results of the research with respective international standards. The conclusions show uneven financial standing for different candidates.

Independence Day Action under National Flags

27.07.2016 Independence Day Action under National Flags

Today, representatives of civil movements and activists of the Young Front have held a street action dedicated to the Declaration of State Sovereignty, adopted by the Supreme Council of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic on July 27, 1990. The day had been celebrated as the official Independence Day until 1996.

Observers question campaigning equality

25.07.2016 Observers question campaigning equality

Valiantsin Stefanovich, expert of the campaign Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections, has been debating with Lidziya Yarmoshyna, head of the Central Election Commission, on the financial opportunities of potential candidates. The question is about the need for changes in legislation.

Weekly Analytical Report: July 18-24

25.07.2016 Weekly Analytical Report: July 18-24

The process of collecting signatures is once again accompanied by abuse of administrative resources, but not as extensively as in earlier elections.

Viasna calls to end harassment of Andrei Bandarenka and Mikhail Zhamchuzhny in prison

22.07.2016 Viasna calls to end harassment of Andrei Bandarenka and Mikhail Zhamchuzhny in prison

Ales Bialiatski, chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna", has sent a petition to the Minister of the Interior and the Prosecutor General, urging the officials to put an end to the harassment of human rights defenders Andrei Bandarenka and Mikhail Zhamchuzhny currently serving their sentences in Mahilioŭ and Navasady.

UN Human Rights Committee registers complaint of Henadz Yakavitski, asks for respite

22.07.2016 UN Human Rights Committee registers complaint of Henadz Yakavitski, asks for respite

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has registered an individual communication submitted on behalf of Henadz Yakavitski, who was sentenced to death on 5 January for murdering his partner back in July 2015.

Double standards or negligence of election officials?

21.07.2016 Double standards or negligence of election officials?

“We Want Changes!” and “Deeds After Words, Results After Deeds!” at the picket of a future candidate versus “A Million Jobs” on his T-shirt. Are these all campaign slogans? Human rights activists call for clarification over several warnings issued by district electoral commissions for “illegal campaigning” by some nominees and the absence of claims in a similar situation to the others.

Viasna writes to UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention over Dzmirty Paliyenka case

20.07.2016 Viasna writes to UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention over Dzmirty Paliyenka case

The Human Rights Center “Viasna” has informed the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention about the pre-trial detention of Belarusian activist Dzmitry Paliyenka, who is currently held in custody awaiting trial over his involvement in the Critical Mass cycling event on April 29 in Minsk.

‘Political qualities’ to prevail when selecting candidates to precinct elections commissions

19.07.2016 ‘Political qualities’ to prevail when selecting candidates to precinct elections commissions

The current election campaign is no exception: the election commissions are likely to have only loyal members. Lawyer Pavel Sapelka has commented on the recent response by the CEC head to his proposal to abandon such criteria ‘political qualities’ in the selection of members of the PECs.

Prison doctor to stand trial over fatal neglect

15.07.2016 Prison doctor to stand trial over fatal neglect

The Prosecutor General's Office has completed the investigation into the death of Ihar Ptsichkin in jail No. 1 of Minsk in August 2014. According to latest information, the criminal case against paramedic Aliaksandr Krylou will soon reach the court.

Azimjan Askarov Case: decision of Supreme Court nowhere near implementation of UN Views

14.07.2016 Azimjan Askarov Case: decision of Supreme Court nowhere near implementation of UN Views

Paris-Geneva, July 13, 2016 - Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan ordered a fresh appeal hearing before the Chuy Regional Court in Bishkek in the case of human rights defender Azimjan Askarov, and left his life sentence conviction unchanged, FIDH said. Azimjan Askarov remains behind bars in blatant violation of the Views of the UN Human Rights Committee (CCPR), which concluded on April 21 that “Kyrgyzstan must take appropriate steps to immediately release him”.

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