News for August 2016

Counting of Votes Revisited

31.08.2016 Counting of Votes Revisited

On September 11, the parliamentary elections will culminate in Election Day, which, in turn, will end with vote counting, a procedure of extreme secrecy, according to election officials. Meanwhile, it is the vote count that has traditionally triggered fierce criticism of both domestic and international observers, not to speak of opposition candidates running for Parliament. The observers’ recommendations are that the vote counting procedure needs more transparency.

Greek academic and activist Dimitris Christopoulos elected FIDH President

29.08.2016 Greek academic and activist Dimitris Christopoulos elected FIDH President

Dimitris Christopoulos has been elected President of FIDH. He succeeds Iranian lawyer Karim Lahidji who headed the international human rights NGO for the last three years. The vote was held during the 39th FIDH Congress in Johannesburg where its 178 member organisations from 120 countries were gathered to elect the new International Board and determine the main orientations for the next three years.

1863x.com extremism case breach of right to fair trial, Viasna expert says

29.08.2016 1863x.com extremism case breach of right to fair trial, Viasna expert says

On August 25, the Court of Minsk’s Centraĺny district said that the 1863x.com website contained extremist publications, a fact that paves way to the criminal conviction of its founder, Eduard Palchys, who is currently awaiting trial in a jail in Žodzina.

Report on monitoring of the Independence Day mass action on August 25, 2016

26.08.2016 Report on monitoring of the Independence Day mass action on August 25, 2016

The action dedicated to Independence Day took place on August 25, 2016, from 6 pm to 7:40 pm. The event was organized by activists of the Malady Front (Young Front); the invitation to take part in Kupala readings and to proceed to Independence Square was published in online media.

Court finds extremism in 1863x.com case

26.08.2016 Court finds extremism in 1863x.com case

Nine articles published on the 1863x.com website contain elements of extremism, according to a decision by the Court of Minsk’s Centraĺny district of August 25.

Ales Bialiatski: Russia rapidly returning to Soviet Union, which inevitably affects its neighbors

24.08.2016 Ales Bialiatski: Russia rapidly returning to Soviet Union, which inevitably affects its neighbors

Ales Bialiatski, chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, spoke yesterday at FIDH Congress in Johannesburg as part of a session entitled “Invoking morals, religious or traditional values to build a new world order: States opposing human rights principles”.

ENEMO observers still unwelcome in Belarus

23.08.2016 ENEMO observers still unwelcome in Belarus

The Belarusian Central Election Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have not yet replied to a request asking for the invitation of an ENEMO mission to observe the parliamentary elections scheduled for September 11, according to ENEMO Secretariat.

Viasna activists attend FIDH Congress in Johannesburg

22.08.2016 Viasna activists attend FIDH Congress in Johannesburg

FIDH, together with its member organisations, Lawyers for Human Rights in South Africa, DITSHWANELO – The Botswana Centre for Human Rights in Botswana and Zimrights in Zimbabwe, is holding, under the high patronage of Desmond Tutu, its 39th Congress in Johannesburg from 23 to 27 August 2016.

Human Rights Watch urges Belarus to free Turkmen dissident

22.08.2016 Human Rights Watch urges Belarus to free Turkmen dissident

Belarusian authorities are holding a former journalist from Turkmenistan on an extradition request by the Turkmen government, Human Rights Watch said on Saturday. They should immediately release the former journalist, Chary Annamuradov, and under no circumstances extradite or otherwise return him to Turkmenistan, where he would face torture and ill-treatment in custody.

US Amnesty International’s Eurasia Cogroup Chair: Together we will win

17.08.2016 US Amnesty International’s Eurasia Cogroup Chair: Together we will win

Viachaslau Bortnik, Belarus-born American human rights defender and head of the Eurasia Cogroup at Amnesty International USA in Washington D.C., has visited the Minsk office of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”.

Mikhail Zhamchuzhny appeals sentence to Supreme Court

17.08.2016 Mikhail Zhamchuzhny appeals sentence to Supreme Court

On August 1, political prisoner Mikhail Zhamchuzhny sent to the Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Court a supervisory appeal against the 6.5-year sentences he is serving in prison outside Barysaŭ, according to a letter received by the Human Rights Center "Viasna".

Ales Bialiatski: We hope that Marieluise Beck will remain a sincere friend of Belarus

16.08.2016 Ales Bialiatski: We hope that Marieluise Beck will remain a sincere friend of Belarus

Marieluise Beck, a member of the Bundestag’s foreign policy committee representing the Greens and an expert on Eastern Europe, announced her decision not to be elected in the next convocation of the German Parliament, according to a message received by the Human Rights Center "Viasna".

Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections voice findings on first half of elections

15.08.2016 Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections voice findings on first half of elections

Members of the campaign Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections have summed up the first half of the observation of this year’s parliamentary elections.

Analytical Report on the Registration of Candidates

15.08.2016 Analytical Report on the Registration of Candidates

There were cases of abusing administrative resources in favor of pro-government candidates, as well as pressure on members of opposition candidates’ nomination groups.

Ales Bialiatski calls for solidarity with political prisoner Uladzimir Kondrus

12.08.2016 Ales Bialiatski calls for solidarity with political prisoner Uladzimir Kondrus

Viasna leader Ales Bialiatski has sent a postcard to Uladzimir Kondrus and encourages everyone to express their support for the political prisoner, who is currently held in the Minsk detention facility in Valadarski Street.

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