News for October 2020
31.10.2020 Belarus’ human rights record to be examined by Universal Periodic Review
Belarus’ human rights record will be examined by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group for the third time on Monday, 2 November 2020 in a meeting that will be webcast live in English and Russian.
30.10.2020 Harassment and intimidation of lawyers is of great concern and must end
The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has expressed grave concern over ongoing attacks and intimidation tactics deployed against lawyers in Belarus for carrying out their professional roles.
30.10.2020 Polish and German MPs take over godparenthood for Andrei Voinich, Siarhei Korshun and Uladzimir Dudarau
As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights, Martin Schulz (Bundestag, Germany), Andrzej Halicki (European Parliament, Poland) und Jürgen Martens (Bundestag, Germany) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus and demand their immediate and unconditional release.
29.10.2020 Immediately release political prisoners Maryia Babovich and Dzianis Hrakhanau!
Joint statement of Belarusian human rights organizations
28.10.2020 Global movement calls on authorities to stop crackdown on peaceful protest
Amnesty International has informed the Belarusian authorities that the organization has collected about 191,000 signatures from supporters calling for an end to the crackdown on peaceful protests and accountability for police abuses. The petition was launched ahead of Belarus’s 9 August presidential election amid mounting violations against protesters.
28.10.2020 Two Minskers facing 10 years in prison over inscription on sidewalk
In September, two residents of Minsk, a man and a woman, were detained after they tried to repaint an inscription on the sidewalk near the memorial to Aliaksandr Taraikouski, the first victim of police violence who was killed on October 10. The inscription on the asphalt said, “We Will Not Forget!” Now they are charged with two articles of the Criminal Code, for which they face up to 10 years in prison, TUT.BY said.
27.10.2020 Establishing independent judicial system should top the agenda for future reforms, says UN expert
The UN's human rights expert on Belarus called on the Government to promptly stop repressing its own people and establish an independent judicial system as a way to overcome the current political crisis in the country.
27.10.2020 Political prisoner Andrei Rasulau released in Žlobin
Andrei Rasulau, a political prisoner from the city of Žlobin, has been released from pre-trial detention, Alena Masliukova, Viasna human rights activist, said quoting the former prisoner’s girlfriend. His status, however, remains unknown.
27.10.2020 Amid vicious crackdown on peaceful protesters, authorities arrest workers planning strike
The Belarusian government must immediately end police violence against peaceful protesters. Authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all those arrested and facing administrative or criminal proceedings merely for trying to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and their rights to form independent associations and to strike.
26.10.2020 Over 500 detained in protests across Belarus
Over 500 protesters were detained in some twenty demonstrations held yesterday in various parts of Belarus, including 160 persons in Minsk, the Interior Ministry said. 350 persons will stand administrative trials, it added.
24.10.2020 Authorities designate Telegram channel NEXTA as “extremist” in further crackdown on independent media
Around 30 human rights organisations strongly condemn the ruling by a Belarusian court to include the popular Telegram channel NEXTA in the list of “extremist” materials under Article 17.11 of the Code of Administrative Offences. The decision effectively penalises Belarusians for seeking to access independent news sources, branding those exercising their right to freedom of expression and information as ‘extremist’, and is part of a worsening crackdown on dissent.
23.10.2020 House arrest cancelled for political prisoner Liliya Ulasava
The authorities have ordered to cancel the house arrest restrictions earlier imposed on arrested member of the opposition Coordination Council Liliya Ulasava, her husband told tut.by.
23.10.2020 Swiss MPs call to release Natallia Hersche arrested in Belarus
In an open letter, 18 Swiss parliamentarians from the SP, Greens, CVP and EVP address the Belarusian Minister of Justice, Minister of the Interior and Attorney General and demand the release of the imprisoned Swiss citizen Natallia Hersche.
23.10.2020 HRDs condemn government-run Constitutional reform as “attempt to silence gross human rights violations”
We believe that the process of discussing changes to the Constitution organized by the authorities is an attempt to silence gross human rights violations, including torture of thousands of detainees. In the current catastrophic human rights situation in Belarus, the full devaluation of the rule of law, in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, and given that a number of potential dialogue actors who enjoy the support of Belarusian society are in imprisonment, some de facto in exile, it is impossible to conduct a truly inclusive and effective process of discussing changes to the Constitution.
23.10.2020 MPs from Lithuania, Austria and Germany join "godparenthood" campaign
As part of the Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Rasa Juknevičienė (European Parliament, Lithuania), Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic (National Council, Austria) and Delara Burkhardt (European Parliament, Germany) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.