Round Table of Human Rights Activists
On 19 May Belarusian Helsinki Committee organized a round table on the topic “Resolution of the UN Commission on Human Rights and PACE about human rights in Belarus – new tasks and possibilities”.
The round table was attended by representatives of regional branches of BHC and other human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Center “Viasna”, Independent Society of Legal Research and Legal Assistance to Population. All of them, except for BHC, have been liquidated. A representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus was invited, but he ignored the measure. The advisor of the UN representative in Belarus Uladzimir Shcherbaw, the Ambassador of France in Belarus Stefan Shmelewski and the head of the OSCE office in Minsk Eberhard Heiken presented speeches at the round table.
The speeches of S. Shmelewski and E. Heiken were quite sharp and corresponded to the Resolutions that have been recently adopted by the UN and PACE.
The position of human rights organization and their activities concerning the appearance of the Resolutions were discussed. At the end of the round table there was also adopted a resolution.
Valiantsin Stefanovich sounded the position of Human Rights Center “Viasna”: “We don’t think it is worth to apply to Belarusian authorities. Many resolutions and recommendations have been adopted lately and none of them were executed by them. It concerns the OSCE recommendations on elections and the UN resolution. The authorities ignore all Resolutions and recommendations and don’t show any intention to start a dialogue about improvement of the situation of human rights. To our mind, the next step could be bringing of criminal cases against the representatives of state bodies who are suspected in kidnaps of political opponents and possible death punishments without trials. At present the initiation of such cases in the courts of European countries that have international jurisdiction is being discussed. We also decided that as long as Belarusian authorities don’t give publicity to the Resolutions, human rights organizations are to help them in this respect and maximally publicize the recent resolutions of the United Nations Organization and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. People must know about the situation of human rights, because it is the first time when charges against Belarusian authorities were pronounced at the highest level. The authorities are charged with murders of political opponents and people must know everything”.