News for September 2017
26.09.2017 Ongoing harassment of lawyers involved in ‘White Legion case’
The Qualification Commission of the Ministry of Justice has carried out the certification of 13 more lawyers. According to information obtained by the Human Rights Center "Viasna", there are five defenders of persons charged in the so-called ‘White Legion case’ among those who were ‘conditionally certified’. In such circumstances, the human rights defenders rule out the possibility of organizing a trial in accordance with the standards of fair justice.
26.09.2017 15 activists charged in ‘White Legion case’ plead not guilty in a statement
Fifteen persons facing charges in so-called ‘White Legion case’ have issued a statement to plead not guilty, after the authorities extended the investigation for another six months.
26.09.2017 Mikalai Statkevich gets another 5 days in jail
Opposition politician Mikalai Statkevich has been sentenced to 5 days of administrative detention for his involvement in an illegal rally on September 8 in Minsk.
25.09.2017 Bialiatski calls for respect for fundamental rights and freedoms of political prisoner Zhamchuzhny
Ales Bialiatski, head of the Human Rights Center "Viasna", has written to the Interior Ministry’s Department of Corrections urging to take immediate measures to ensure that political prisoner Mikhail Zhamchuzhny is held in conditions, which would guarantee his personal security and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms.
22.09.2017 Authorities extend investigation into ‘rioting case’
The Investigative Committee has prolonged the investigation of a criminal case involving 14 persons charged with ‘preparing riots’. The case was opened six months ago and will be underway for at least another half-year.
20.09.2017 Persecution of civil society and pressure on lawyers on the agenda of HDIM 2017
A number of side events within the framework of the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting held in Warsaw deal with acute problems related to the work of human rights defenders in the post-Soviet region. The international community has been urged to address the issue of pressure on lawyers and the politically motivated persecution of civil society groups in Belarus.
19.09.2017 Belarus in focus at OSCE event on the death penalty
Amnesty International and FIDH continue to raise the issue of the death penalty at international fora, as another thematic event has been held within the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw. The side event involved human rights activists from Belarus, one of the two OSCE countries that still execute death convicts.
18.09.2017 Threats and attacks against human rights defenders on the rise, says OSCE/ODIHR report
Threats and attacks against human rights defenders in the OSCE area have continued to increase in severity and frequency over the last three years, according to a report by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) released on 15 September 2017.
14.09.2017 UN Special Rapporteur updated on increasing harassment of lawyers in Belarus
The Human Rights Center "Viasna" has updated Ms. Mónica Pinto, Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council on the independence of judges and lawyers, on the latest developments related to the pressure on lawyers in Belarus.
13.09.2017 Stop government interference in activities of the Bar
Joint statement of Belarusian human rights organizations
12.09.2017 Counsel in White Legion case likely to lose license
The Ministry of Justice has questioned the qualification of lawyer Hanna Bakhtsina, legal representative of Miraslau Lazouski, key defendant in the ‘White Legion case’. As a result, the counsel is likely to lose her license.
12.09.2017 Ales Bialiatski: West tends to downplay repression in Belarus
The Belarusian House Foundation in Warsaw hosted yesterday, September 11, a side event as part of the OSCE ODIHR Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2017. The event entitled “Human Rights in Belarus – From the Case of Patriots to the Case of Labor Unions” involved several Belarusian human rights defenders and focused on this year’s wave of repression in Belarus, including the ‘White Legion case’ and the criminal charges against trade union leaders.
11.09.2017 Report on monitoring of mass event "Warning Action and Meeting on the Belarusian Military Glory Day". Minsk, 8 September 2017
On September 8, 2017 in Minsk the meeting was dedicated to the Belarusian Military Glory Day, organized by Belarusian National Congress.
08.09.2017 Viasna urges international lawyers’ community to support Belarusian counsels
The Human Rights Center "Viasna" is calling for solidarity with Belarusian lawyers, who are again targeted by the repressive government.
07.09.2017 Stefanovich: “The emergence of principles for human rights defenders will boost proficiency in the community”
The Human Rights Center "Viasna" has joined the Principles of Human Rights Work in Belarus. According to the organization’s chairman Ales Bialiatski, the decision was taken at a meeting of Viasna’s Council on September 4.