News for February 2017

Amnesty International Annual Report: Severe restrictions remain in place in Belarus

22.02.2017 Amnesty International Annual Report: Severe restrictions remain in place in Belarus

"Severe restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, of association and of peaceful assembly remained in place. The government continued to refuse co-operation with the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Belarus. At least four people were executed and four people were sentenced to death," Amnesty International said in its Annual Report.

Libereco: no improvement in human rights situation one year after sanctions were lifted

20.02.2017 Libereco: no improvement in human rights situation one year after sanctions were lifted

One year ago, on 15 February 2016, the EU Foreign Affairs Council decided to lift most of the sanctions against Belarus. This decision was preceded by a reduction in visible repression in Belarus since the summer of 2015, through the release of political prisoners and relatively peaceful presidential elections.

Meanwhile in Belarus… To put an end to death penalty in Europe

17.02.2017 Meanwhile in Belarus… To put an end to death penalty in Europe

In 2017, Belarus is still the only country in Europe to apply death penalty. Aiming to denounce and bring this grim reality to public attention, FIDH publishes in social networks a video "Meanwhile in Belarus".

Civil Rights Defenders: EU Sanctions Lifted at the Expense of Civil and Political Rights in Belarus

15.02.2017 Civil Rights Defenders: EU Sanctions Lifted at the Expense of Civil and Political Rights in Belarus

One year ago, the EU lifted sanctions against Belarus. The sanctions were imposed in response to human rights violations perpetrated by the Belarusian regime, but were lifted without any improvements to the human rights situation. On the one year anniversary, Civil Rights Defenders releases a report entitled: Dictatorship No More? EU Sanctions Lifted at the Expense of Civil and Political Rights in Belarus.

Amnesty International: Aleksandr Lapshin's extradition to Azerbaijan is breach of Belarus's international obligations

15.02.2017 Amnesty International: Aleksandr Lapshin's extradition to Azerbaijan is breach of Belarus's international obligations

Following his extradition to Azerbaijan, blogger Aleksandr Lapshin is "at risk of torture and other ill-treatment as well as an unfair trial," Amnesty International said in a statement.

Report on the death penalty in Belarus presented at Council of Europe

09.02.2017 Report on the death penalty in Belarus presented at Council of Europe

A delegation of human rights defenders representing the Human Rights Center "Viasna" and FIDH visited yesterday the Council of Europe to discuss the question of the death penalty and the overall situation of human rights in Belarus.

Human rights defenders: It is vital that Belarus remains on EU agenda

08.02.2017 Human rights defenders: It is vital that Belarus remains on EU agenda

On February 7, a number of locations in Brussels hosted meetings of EU officials with the human rights defenders of Viasna, representatives of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus, as well as and the mother of Uladzislau Kavaliou, who was executed in 2012. The key issue for the discussion was the death penalty in Belarus.

Human Rights Situation in Belarus: January 2017

07.02.2017 Human Rights Situation in Belarus: January 2017

During the month, there were cases of confiscation and seizure of personal property of citizens in connection with their failure to pay administrative fines imposed for participation in peaceful assemblies. Human rights defenders regard these cases as a form of repression in connection with the exercise of the freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.

Issue of the death penalty in Belarus to be discussed in Brussels and Strasbourg

03.02.2017 Issue of the death penalty in Belarus to be discussed in Brussels and Strasbourg

Representatives of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" and FIDH are going to discuss the issue of the death penalty in Belarus during a visit to the EU structures and the Council of Europe scheduled for the next week.

Miklós Haraszti: Lifting of mandate should not be used to reward spectacular steps by Belarusian authorities

02.02.2017 Miklós Haraszti: Lifting of mandate should not be used to reward spectacular steps by Belarusian authorities

Miklós Haraszti, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, has met in Vilnius with Belarusian and international human rights activists to discuss priorities for further cooperation. According to Haraszti, he is rather optimistic about the issue of renewing his mandate expected to be discussed this year.

Aleh Hulak: There will be some changes in the Electoral Code, but grounds for criticism will obviously remain

01.02.2017 Aleh Hulak: There will be some changes in the Electoral Code, but grounds for criticism will obviously remain

The interdepartmental working group considered yesterday the recommendations on improving the electoral process in Belarus that were made by the OSCE ODIHR following last year’s parliamentary elections. Priority recommendations submitted by the campaign Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections were also presented at the meeting.

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