Norwegian Helsinki Committee and Human Rights House Foundation Ask Prosecutor General to Cease Harassment of Youth Activists
Yesterday, 21 st of the March, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights House Foundation showed the film "Plosha" at the Human Rights House in Oslo. They also signed a statement to the Procurator General, which has been sent by fax today.
Here's the text:
Oslo, March 21st 2007
To the Procurator General Petr P. Miklashevich
We wish to express our deep concern with the increase in political persecution against activists of Belarusian youth organizations.
On November 1st, 2006, the Young Front leader, Zmitser Dashkevich, was sentenced to one and a half years? imprisonment in a minimum-security prison for “organizing or participating in activity of an unregistered non-governmental organization.”
On February 4th, 2007, police detained 25 youth activists in a private apartment. They were taken to a police station and kept there for seven hours. Two of the detainees, Aleh Korban and Dzmitry Fedaryk, are still kept in the investigation isolator of KGB in Minsk as suspects in a criminal case brought under article 193.1 of the Criminal Code - “participation in activity of unregistered public organizations.” On March 13th, 2007, Anastasiia Palazhanka and Aliaksei Ianusheuski were brought to the city prosecutor’s office in Minsk and were given status as suspects in the same criminal case.
We, the undersigned, consider the charges and arrests as politically motivated. The punishment of public activists under article 193.1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus constitutes a gross violation of human rights as it infringes the right to association, guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
We demand of Belarusian authorities to stop the criminal persecution of youth activists and immediately release Aleh Korban, Dzmitry Fedaruk, and Zmitser Dashkevich.
Ane Tusvik Bonde Bjшrn Engesland
Project Manager Secretary General
Human Rights House Foundation Norwegian Helsinki Committee