News for September 2016

Critical blogger’s son sentenced to 1 year in prison

29.09.2016 Critical blogger’s son sentenced to 1 year in prison

Aliaksei Miliukou, the son of blogger Aleh Zhalnou, has been sentenced to 1-year imprisonment on charges of ‘evading the serving of punishment” (Article 415 of the Criminal Code). The Navapolack Court found him guilty of refusing to observe the rules while serving a 3-year sentence in an open-type prison.

Andrei Paluda: “2 of 16 death convicts in Belarus are Roma”

29.09.2016 Andrei Paluda: “2 of 16 death convicts in Belarus are Roma”

Andrei Paluda, coordinator of the campaign Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus, took part in the working session “Tolerance and non-discrimination, including Roma and Sinti issues, including implementation of the OSCE Action Plan on Improving the Situation of Roma and Sinti” held yesterday in Warsaw as part of the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting.

Kyrgyzstan: Prominent women human rights defenders at risk following their participation in OSCE meeting

27.09.2016 Kyrgyzstan: Prominent women human rights defenders at risk following their participation in OSCE meeting

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (FIDH-OMCT partnership) strongly condemns the verbal attacks and acts of harassment by the Kyrgyz authorities against Tolekan Ismailova and Aziza Abdirasulova in reprisal to their participation in the 2016 OSCE HDIM, and calls upon diplomatic missions and the OSCE to provide them with all necessary protection.

Viasna leader: Authorities oppose human rights defenders fighting for truth and justice

26.09.2016 Viasna leader: Authorities oppose human rights defenders fighting for truth and justice

Courts and prosecutors are often used by the authorities to fight their political opponents and human rights defenders, Ales Bialiatski, chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, said at a side-event entitled “The post-Soviet Judiciary: a tool for administration of justice or a tool of oppression? Lack of independence of the judiciary and prosecution of HRDs in the Eastern part of the OSCE area” held on September 23 in the framework of the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw.

Ales Bialiatski: Civilian control prevents government from downplaying problems

23.09.2016 Ales Bialiatski: Civilian control prevents government from downplaying problems

On September 22, Belarusian human rights defenders arranged a side event at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw to report on the results of parliamentary elections held in the country on September 11.

EU insists on reinstatement of former political prisoners’ civil and political rights

21.09.2016 EU insists on reinstatement of former political prisoners’ civil and political rights

“In 2015 the overall human rights situation in Belarus remained marked by systematic human rights violations,” says the Annual report on human rights and democracy in the world approved by the EU Council on September 20.

Man Dies in Prison Awaiting Trial

20.09.2016 Man Dies in Prison Awaiting Trial

On September 20, a 37-year old man unexpectedly died in Zhodzina prison No8.

Supreme Court Upholds Verdict of Mikhail Zhamchuzhny

20.09.2016 Supreme Court Upholds Verdict of Mikhail Zhamchuzhny

Mikhail Zhamchuzhny received a reply to the supervisory appeal which he had lodged to the Supreme Court in August, 2016.

Colony Hides Information on Suicides

20.09.2016 Colony Hides Information on Suicides

The Human Rights Center Viasna requested confirmation or refutation from Navasady colony (Barysau district) about alleged four suicides and two attempts of suicide there. The reply that came from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Department of Execution of Sentences, was not satisfactory, so Viasna is filing a request to the prosecutor’s office.

Viasna to Take Part in OSCE HDIM Conference

20.09.2016 Viasna to Take Part in OSCE HDIM Conference

Representatives of the Human Rights Center Viasna Ales Bialiatski, Uladzimir Labkovich and Andrei Paluda are going to take part in the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of the OSCE.

Trial Over Paramedic in Inmate’s Death Case Starts in Minsk

19.09.2016 Trial Over Paramedic in Inmate’s Death Case Starts in Minsk

On September 16, the Maskouski district court in Minsk held the first hearing into the death case of Ihar Ptsichkin: the 21-year-old man died in Valadarka detention facility in Minsk, on August 4, 2013, a few days after he was sentenced to three months’ arrest.

Miklós Haraszti: Belarus elections 'lipstick measures on face of violations'

15.09.2016 Miklós Haraszti: Belarus elections 'lipstick measures on face of violations'

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, says despite the admission of a token oppositionist there was no real difference between last Sunday’s parliamentary elections and all the previous ones carried out in Belarus.

Turkmen dissident safely returns to Sweden after 2 months of detention in Belarus

14.09.2016 Turkmen dissident safely returns to Sweden after 2 months of detention in Belarus

The Prosecutor General's Office of Belarus on September 13 released former RFE/RL journalist Chary Annamuradov, whose extradition had been sought by Turkmenistan. Today, the dissident has returned to Sweden, where he has lived since 2002. The official reasons for this decision are not yet known.

EU Says Belarus Elections Show Need For 'Comprehensive' Reform

13.09.2016 EU Says Belarus Elections Show Need For 'Comprehensive' Reform

The European Union has said that parliamentary elections in Belarus on September 11 show the need for "comprehensive electoral reform."

Human rights defenders: CEC’s promises and attempts to show improvements fail to bring progress

13.09.2016 Human rights defenders: CEC’s promises and attempts to show improvements fail to bring progress

The campaign Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections summed up yesterday the results of monitoring the elections of deputies of the House of Representatives of the 6th convocation. At a press conference in Minsk, the campaign coordinators Aleh Hulak (Belarusian Helsinki Committee) and Uladzimir Labkovich (Human Rights Center "Viasna") presented their assessment of the parliamentary election campaign.

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