News for November 2017
30.11.2017 Authorities end investigation in ‘White Legion case’
“The preliminary investigation of the case is completed. On November 27, a decision was taken to discontinue the criminal prosecution of all defendants in the so-called ‘White Legion case’. We believe that this has drawn a line under the case. The case file has been sent to the prosecutor for consideration and assessment of the legality of the decision. The defendants have begun to familiarize with the decision to dismiss the criminal case and the case file,” the Investigative Committee’s website said today.
30.11.2017 Death Penalty in Europe and Central Asia: Close to the Finishing Line
On 11 December 1977 Amnesty International and participants of the International Conference on the Abolition of the Death Penalty issued the Stockholm Declaration which called on all governments to bring about the immediate and total abolition of the death penalty. At the time, only 16 countries had abolished the death penalty. Forty years on, that figures stands at 105. To mark this anniversary, Amnesty International looks through this newsletter at trends in Europe and Central Asia and takes a closer look at the use of the death penalty in Belarus, the last executioner in the region.
29.11.2017 HRD Memorial launched to commemorate slain defenders
On 24 November, an international coalition of national and international human rights organisations launched the HRD Memorial website and database. This is a unique project aimed to commemorate all the human rights defenders (HRDs) who have been killed since the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders came into effect in 1998.
29.11.2017 UN CERD to hear alternative reports on Belarus
On November 30, the 94th session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is expected to consider the report of the Belarusian government on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Belarusian human rights defenders will present alternative reports to the Committee.
28.11.2017 Monitoring report on the formation of territorial election commissions
Observation is carried out by the Belarusian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights Center "Viasna" in the framework of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections".
27.11.2017 Report on monitoring the rally on the anniversary of the Sluck Uprising. November 26, 2017
On November 26, 2017 the city of Sluck hosted a protest to honor the heroes of the Sluck armed uprising (1920) organized by representatives of the CCP BPF Party.
26.11.2017 Report on monitoring the rally on the anniversary of the Sluck Uprising. November 25, 2017
On November 25, 2017 the city of Sluck hosted an event honoring the heroes of the Sluck armed uprising (1920).
22.11.2017 Belarus overlooks UNGA resolution on the role of human rights defenders
On November 20, UN Member States unanimously endorsed the free and independent role of human rights defenders at the UN. Belarus is not among the 75 countries that co-sponsored the key resolution by the UN General Assembly, which clearly stated the need to protect human rights defenders around the world. By doing this, the Belarusian authorities have witnessed their true position towards the human rights community, Ales Bialiatski, head of the HRC "Viasna", said.
17.11.2017 Arbitrary detention and false prosecution of political opponents continue, UN expert says
The recent arrests and detention of two political opponents on fabricated grounds is another demonstration of the cyclical system of oppression in Belarus, according to Miklós Haraszti, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus.
16.11.2017 Human rights activists launch campaign of monitoring local elections
Following the official announcement of local elections, “Human Rights Defenders For Free Elections” have launched a campaign to monitor the vote set for February 18.
16.11.2017 Fact sheet on the press conference by the campaign “Human Rights Defenders For Free Elections”
The fact sheet provides a timeline of measures taken by the campaign's experts towards cooperation with the interdepartmental expert working group under the CEC set up to examine the OSCE ODIHRrecommendations and to develop proposals to amend the electoral law.
14.11.2017 Local elections on the background of shelved electoral changes — press conference by human rights defenders
“Human Rights Defenders For Free Elections” are arranging a press conference to annouce the launch of a non-partisan observation of the local elections set for 18 February 2018.
14.11.2017 Eastern Partnership Summit: Azerbaijan and Belarus leaders should be pushed towards democratization
Dozens of leading international and national human rights organizations, including two Belarusian groups, have called on EU leaders to raise the issue of human rights violations in Azerbaijan during the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit, which will be held on November 24 in Brussels.
10.11.2017 Sakharov Freedom Award goes to anti-torture fighters in Russia
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee’s Sakharov Freedom Award 2017 is awarded to the newspaper Novaya Gazeta and the organization Committee against Torture.
06.11.2017 Report on violations of Roma rights in Belarus sent to UN
Human rights activists have submitted to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination an alternative report on the implementation by the Republic of Belarus of the corresponding UN Convention. The report's authors concluded that the Roma in Belarus are subject to discrimination, particularly in employment, resulting in exclusion, extreme poverty, criminalization of the country’s Roma population.