News for October 2019

Censorship and penalties: Parliamentary elections worse than ever

30.10.2019 Censorship and penalties: Parliamentary elections worse than ever

This year’s parliamentary elections have already been marred by multiple instances of arbitrary interpretation of electoral laws, Uladzimir Labkovich, coordinator of the campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”, said in a comment on the case of candidate Uladzimir Zahryshau running in Babrujsk.

EU, OSCE PA condemn new death sentence in Belarus

29.10.2019 EU, OSCE PA condemn new death sentence in Belarus

“A moratorium on executions in Belarus would be a positive first step towards the abolition of the death penalty in the country,” a statement by Maja Kocijancic, European Union Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said in response to the death sentence handed down by the Brest Regional Court.

Parliamentary elections 2019: Analytical weekly report on the results of observation: October 20-25

28.10.2019 Parliamentary elections 2019: Analytical weekly report on the results of observation: October 20-25

Registered candidates have been engaged in election campaigning, but the process is not always visible for the public; pro-government candidates mainly speak to the voters at meetings organized on the premises of businesses and state-owned institutions; administrative resources have been used for this purpose.

New death sentence passed in Belarus

28.10.2019 New death sentence passed in Belarus

On October 25, the Brest Regional Court sentenced Viktar Serhil, 48, to death, finding him guilty of brutally murdering a minor (Part 2, Art. 139 of the Criminal Code).

Ex-prisoner of conscience Dzmitry Paliyenka gets 10 months of “house arrest”

25.10.2019 Ex-prisoner of conscience Dzmitry Paliyenka gets 10 months of “house arrest”

Dzmitry Paliyenka, former political prisoner and Amnesty International’s prisoner of conscience, has been sentenced to three years of “restricted freedom,” after a highly controversial trial at the Minsk City Court. The sentence will be reduced to 10 months, considering a recent amnesty and the defendant's stay in pre-trial detention. The activist was released in the courtroom.

FIDH Congress adopts resolution on the death penalty in Belarus

24.10.2019 FIDH Congress adopts resolution on the death penalty in Belarus

40th FIDH Congress - RESOLUTION ABOUT THE DEATH PENALTY IN THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

Viasna’s Valiantsin Stefanovich elected FIDH vice-president

24.10.2019 Viasna’s Valiantsin Stefanovich elected FIDH vice-president

The 40th World Congress of the International Federation for Human Rights has completed its work in Taiwan with the election of president and vice-presidents. Alice Mogwe, a human rights lawyer from Botswana, has been elected FIDH President for the next three years. She previously served as the organization’s secretary-general.

Domestic observers report lack of progress in nomination and registration of candidates

22.10.2019 Domestic observers report lack of progress in nomination and registration of candidates

The nomination and registration of candidates were not marked by any significant differences as compared to the previous parliamentary elections, concludes an interim report by the nation-wide campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”. The findings were presented today at a press conference in Minsk.

Parliamentary elections 2019: Report on the nomination and registration of candidates

21.10.2019 Parliamentary elections 2019: Report on the nomination and registration of candidates

The nomination and registration of candidates were nor marked by any significant differences as compared to the previous parliamentary elections.

Belarusian Activist Slashes His Arm In Court Protest

18.10.2019 Belarusian Activist Slashes His Arm In Court Protest

A Belarusian civil society activist and former prisoner of conscience has slashed his hand in a courtroom to protest against his closed-door trial, which rights activists called politically motivated.

Lack of reforms and contempt for fundamental freedoms in Belarus raise concerns ahead of elections, says UN expert

18.10.2019 Lack of reforms and contempt for fundamental freedoms in Belarus raise concerns ahead of elections, says UN expert

The overall environment in Belarus remains hostile to dissident opinions and unduly restricts civil and political rights, says UN expert Anaïs Marin.

Belarus: Politically motivated trial against former prisoner of conscience starts behind closed doors

17.10.2019 Belarus: Politically motivated trial against former prisoner of conscience starts behind closed doors

The Belarusian authorities must uphold the right of former prisoner of conscience Dzmitry Paliyenka to a fair trial and ensure his hearing is open to the public, Amnesty International said ahead of the start of his trial on 17 October.

Picks of the Week against the Death Penalty

11.10.2019 Picks of the Week against the Death Penalty

The past seven days have been dominated by events held as part of the annual nation-wide Week against the Death Penalty in Belarus. Viasna has collected quotes and photo evidence of the Week to highlight the diversity of voices and efforts demanding an end to executions, both in the country and worldwide.

EU, CoE urge Belarus to end executions ahead of World Day against the Death Penalty

09.10.2019 EU, CoE urge Belarus to end executions ahead of World Day against the Death Penalty

The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, have published a joint statement to mark the European and World Day against the Death Penalty on 10 October.

Violence, sexism, employment discrimination: women’s rights groups send report to UN

09.10.2019 Violence, sexism, employment discrimination: women’s rights groups send report to UN

The “Her Rights” center has prepared, in a coalition with the public association “Radzislava”, a report on the state of gender equality and women’s rights in Belarus in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The survey is an alternative to the government’s report, both of which will be heard in May 2020.

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