Belarusian Human Rights Activist Apply to Prosecutor General
In the morning of 10 December 2004, Day of Human Rights, Belarusian human rights activists gathered near the National Prosecutor’s Office in order to pass their appeal to the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus. The state prosecutor Barys Zhyldzetski accepted the report together with the report of Christos Pourgourides “Missing Persons in Belarus” as attachment.
The appeal reads:
To Prosecutor General
Of the Republic of Belarus
Dear Piatro Piatrovich,
We, human rights activists of Belarus, apply to You on the Universal Day of Human Rights. On that day in 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The provisions of this declaration became fundamental for the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus.
Nowadays we are extremely concerned with the constant deterioration of the situation with human rights in Belarus.
 The court system still hasn’t become an independent branch of power; absence of independent judges and attorneys is a danger to the possibility for civil defense at trials and deprives citizens of the country to independent and fair trial.
 We are especially concerned with the facts of kidnaps of the well-known political and public activists of the country Yu. Zakharanka, V. Hanchar, A. Krasowski and Z. Zavadski. The competent organs don’t conduct sufficient and objective investigation of these crimes. At the same time the information that was given publicity as a result of independent investigations give reasons to assume that some high-level state officials, including the present head of the Administration of President of the Republic of Belarus V. Sheyman, the minister of sport and tourism Yu. Sivakow, the minister of internal affairs V. Navumaw, the police officer Z. Pawlichenka and some others into the crimes aimed at kidnapping and possible physical liquidation of the well-known opposition activists and journalist for political reasons. These facts were reflected in the official report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and numerous documents adopted by influential international organizations.
 We are concerned with the imprisonment of the political opponents of the present authorities Mikhail Marynich, Valery Levanewski, Aliaksandr Vasilyew and Yury Bandazhewski and the criminal persecution and administrative punishment of many public and political activists.
 Public organizations and political parties are groundlessly subject to persecution and liquidation by court.
 The numerous facts of administrative arrests, beatings of participants of peaceful protest actions and unmotivated limitations and prohibitions to hold mass actions are rude violations of the freedom of peaceful associations.
 The closing of European Humanities University and Yakub Kolas National Belarusian Humanities Lyceum was not only a gross violation of academic liberties, but was extremely harmful for the image of our country at international arena.
 Numerous violations of the electoral legislation by officials during the parliamentary election and the referendum resulted in considerable distortion of their results which is a rude violation of the right of citizens to elect and be elected and the right to take part in state affairs.
 The introduction of the obligatory contract system for all categories of workers of state enterprises and organizations considerably worsened the legal state of the workers.
 The Ministry of Information closed or suspended many non-state mass media. Journalists are subject to criminal and administrative persecution for their professional activity. Such actions of duty officials seriously violate the right of citizens to true and all-sided information.
 Obstacles to the use of the national language and free confession have become massive ones.
Besides, we state that human rights activists are subject to constant pressurization and persecution by executive organs, which hinders our legal activity. At present we are concerned with the criminal persecution of the head of the republican public association Belarusian Helsinki Committee Tatsiana Protska, its vice-head Hary Pahaniayla and accountant Tatsiana Rutkevich.
During 2003 such human rights organizations as Human Rights Center “Viasna”, Legal Assistance to Population, Independent Society of Legal Research were groundlessly closed as well as other organizations that helped to defend human rights and build the civil society in Belarus. It is necessary to point that human rights activists are allies of state bodies in provision and defense of the rights of citizens, promotion of the principles of democracy and constitutional state.
We, Belarusian human rights activists, think that in such situation the prosecutor’s office as the organ that supervises precise and uniform execution of laws, must play a great role in defense of the rights and legal interests of citizens.
We hope, that being on the post of Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus, You will pay especial attention to the mentioned facts that worry not only us but the whole Belarusian society. We urge You to take all possible measures to really defend the Constitutional rights and liberties of citizens that are guaranteed by the Constitution and strictly abide by the international undertakings of Belarus in the field of human rights.