News for August 2018
31.08.2018 Picks of the Week
Courts convict activists over support for REP leaders; new suspect named in BelTA case; blogger in Brest live streams own arrest; political prisoner Mikhail Zhamchuzhny faces new penalties in prison
29.08.2018 Viasna joins 127 rights groups to call for immediate release of Nabeel Rajab
Paris-Geneva-Manama – For the second time since 2013, the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has issued an Opinion regarding the legality of the detention of Mr. Nabeel Rajab under international human rights law. In its second opinion, the WGAD held that the detention was not only arbitrary but also discriminatory. The 127 signatory human rights groups welcome this landmark opinion, made public on 13 August 2018, recognising the role played by human rights defenders in society and the need to protect them. We call upon the Bahraini Government to immediately release Nabeel Rajab in accordance with this latest request.
29.08.2018 Front Line Defenders urges Belarus to quash convictions against Fiadynich and Komlik
The authorities in Belarus should immediately quash the convictions against Henadz Fiadynich and Ihar Komlik, leaders of the trade union REP, and fully restore their liberty, Front Line Defenders said in an urgent appeal, as it believes that they are solely in relation to their peaceful and legitimate work in the defense of human rights.
27.08.2018 Belarus: Trade Union leaders found guilty of tax evasion after a sham trial
Press release by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
24.08.2018 Statement by Belarusian human rights organizations on sentence in REP trial
On August 24, 2018, Henadz Fiadynich, chairperson of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union of Radio Electronic Industry Workers (REP), and Ihar Komlik, the Union’s accountant, were found guilty of committing a crime under Part 2, Art. 243 of the Criminal Code (large-scale tax evasion).
17.08.2018 Picks of the Week
Sentence in trade union case expected on August 24; Prosecutor in Akciabrski caught red-handed with ready-made court ruling; court turns down first appeal against detention of critical journalists last week
15.08.2018 Political bias in REP trial ill-disguised, say IndustriALL observers
The politically motivated charges against Henadz Fiadynich and Ihar Komlik, leaders of the trade union REP, are “solely aimed at paralyzing the union activities,” say observers of the IndustriALL Global Trade Union after attending the trial that opened on July 30.
13.08.2018 Belarus cracks down on journalists and publishers as oppressive new media laws bite, UN expert warns
GENEVA (10 August 2018) – A wave of raids and arbitrary arrests targeting independent publishers and journalists in Belarus highlights oppressive new rules against internet media in the country, says the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti.
11.08.2018 Picks of the Week
The sweeping and clearly disproportionate crackdown on independent journalists that started on August 7 and briefly paralyzed the work of the country’s leading news portal, tut.by, and the only private news agency, BelaPAN, has been making both national and international headlines during the week.
10.08.2018 Statement of the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum
In connection with the wave of searches in the editorial offices of the media and the detention of journalists
09.08.2018 BelaPAN chief editor detained, more journalists remain in custody
Iryna Leushyna, chief editor of the BelaPAN news agency, has been detained today, tut.by said. Her apartment has been searched and computer equipment seized.
08.08.2018 Four journalists still in detention, as searches of media continue
Maryna Zolatava, Hanna Kaltyhina and Halina Ulasik, editors of tut.by, the country’s leading online newspaper, as well as belapan.by journalist Tatsiana Karaviankova, remain in custody on charges of illegal access to the government-owned news agency BelTA. The whereabouts of one more tut.by editor, Hanna Yermachonak, is still unknown.
08.08.2018 Council of Europe: Liberate all arrested journalists
Searches and arrests in Belarusian media. Statement by the CoE's Spokesperson of the Secretary General
08.08.2018 Statement on searches of media outlets and arrests of journalists
On August 7, the Investigative Committee of Belarus said that it opened a criminal case under Part 2, Art. 349 of the Criminal Code (“illegal access to computer information obtained out of other personal interest, which caused significant damage”). Reports also said that the law-enforcement agencies detained journalists Maryna Zolatava, Hanna Kaltyhina, Halina Ulasik, Ulyiana Babayed (tut.by) and Tatsiana Karaviankova (BelaPAN). According to our information, several more journalists were also detained.
07.08.2018 7 journalists held in criminal case against independent websites
The Minsk offices of tut.by and belapan.by, Belarus’s biggest independent websites, have been searched by police this morning.