RESOLUTION of the Belarusian participants of the Human Rights Defenders Forum
We, the Belarusian participants of the Forum of the human rights defenders, having heard the reports and having discussed issued of observance of human rights in the Republic of Belarus, and being deeply concerned in the Present and the Future of this country, draw attention to:
The repeated facts of violation of human rights in the Republic of Belarus that manifest itself in politically motivated kidnappings and prosecution of the opponents of the regime, unlawful introduction of censorship in the mass media, prosecution of journalists of the independent mass media for published materials containing criticism of the policy of the President and his authorities, dissolution (by initiative of the governmental bodies, in legal form including) of independent newspapers and non-governmental organizations, violation of religious rights of the citizens, other violation of political, civil, election, social, and language rights.
Many of the passed legislative acts do not conform with the international human rights standards and lead to violation of the constitutional rights of the citizens of the Republic of Belarus, including violation of the laws of the Republic of Belarus "On the Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations", "On Mass Events in the Republic of Belarus", "On the Languages in the Republic of Belarus", as well as the draft law "On the Mass Media in the Republic of Belarus".
The Republic of Belarus has not got neither an independent judicial system as an independent power branch, nor the institute of the independent Bar. It makes impossible to defend violated human rights of the citizens in the courts, deprives the citizens of this country of their right to independent and just proceeding, restricts their access to justice.
Special consent of the representatives of the human rights defending movement is caused by the fact, that full, impartial and public investigation of forced kidnappings of the well-known political and public figures Yury Zakharenko, Victor Gonchar, Anatoly Krasovsky, Dmitry Zavadsky has not been carried out until now.
The conclusion that such investigation has not been carried out was included in the official report of the Committee on Legal Issues and Human Rights of the Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Such conclusion and the information, which has become known at the result of journalists' and public investigations, gives grounds to believe that certain high-rank governmental officials and functionaries, in particular, V. Sheiman - General Prosecutor, Y. Sivakov - Minister of Sports, V. Naumov - Minister if Inner Affairs, D. Pavlichenko - officer of the Special Quick Respond Unit, and others, - were involved in such crimes aimed at kidnapping and, possible, physical liquidation of Y. Zakharenko, V. Gonchar, A. Krasovsky, D Zavansky by political motives.
WE, the representatives of the human rights defending movement of Belarus, CAME TO A CONCLUSION, that:
- Situation related to observance of human rights in Belarus is steadily worsening;
- Representatives of official powers grossly violate the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, international pacts and conventions ratified by the Republic of Belarus, resolutions and recommendations of the international organizations, including UNO, OSCE, PACE, etc.;
- National, religious, and language discrimination exists in the Republic of Belarus in its different forms and manifestations;
- Severe authoritarian regime of personal power of A. Lukashenko has been established in this country; such institutes of a civil society as independent electronic and printed mass media, independent non-governmental organizations have been actually destroyed; and a newly created governmental ideology witnesses of emerging of the elements of totalitarism in this country;
- Prosecution of and opposition to the activity of the human rights defenders puts the right-defending activity outlaw.
WE, the participants of the Forum of the Belarusian human rights defenders, DEMAND that the official powers of the Republic of Belarus:
- Strictly follow the international obligations in the field of human rights undertaken by the Republic of Belarus; take certain measures for real ensuring of rights and freedoms of the citizens guaranteed by the Constitution, and for implementation of the recommendations elaborated by the participants of the Forum.
- Carry out full impartial and public investigation of disappearance of Yury Zakharenko, Victor Gonchar, Anatoly Krasovsky, Dmitry Zavadsky, and actions (absence of actions) of the high-rank authorities of the Republic of Belarus as regards such investigations.
In this connection we think it necessary to examine materials submitted to the investigating office by the legal representatives of the families of the kidnapped persons, by the expert of UN Working Group on Forced Disappearances, and by Special PACE Sub-Committee, as well as by other interested organizations and natural persons
We also think it mandatory that during such investigation the powers of the officials who have probably been involved in this crime be suspended.
- Start elaboration of draft laws in the field of human rights, providing for inherent rights of the citizens and conforming to the requirement of the international standards and the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus.
- Enter changes into the governing election legislation with the purpose to guarantee the principles of publicity, transparency, and democracy of the election process that will ensure actual execution of election rights of the citizens of this country and provide for public control of the elections.
- Carry out an open public dialogue between the non-governmental organizations and representatives of the governmental bodies in the issues related to changes of the legislation and practical implementation of the demands stated in this Resolution.
- One of the most acute problems of such dialogue shall be positive cooperation of the governmental authorities of this country with the families of the disappeared persons, human rights defending organizations, independent lawyers, and international bodies.
We are convinced that practical implementation of the demands stated in this Resolution will enable to restore civil society and establish a system of governmental power based on strict execution of the citizens's rights in Belarus, and will make it possible to overcome self-isolation and build a democratic law-abiding state.