Human rights activists call on international community to address ‘political drafts’ issue

2009 2009-09-23T17:54:07+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

A number of Belarusian and foreign human rights activists have issued a statement calling on the international community to address the issue of politically-motivated drafts as a means of harassing Belarusian political and civil activists.
The human rights defenders urge international human rights organizations and major politicians ‘to do their best to put an end to the illegal practice and prevent it from turning into a system of pressure and isolation used against the politically active youth of Belarus.’
The activists mentioned 7 youth opposition leaders, who have faced enforced drafts over the past 18 months: Zmitser Zhaleznichenka, Ales Kalita, Vital Karatysh, Zmitser Khevdaruk, Ivan Shyla, Ales Krauchenia and Franak Viachorka.
‘It is obvious that politically-motivated drafts are aimed at physical, informational, moral suppression of the activists’ will-power and intimidating their followers,’ says the statement.
‘That the issue of politically-motivated drafts is still topical, can be proven by the recent events with Yauhen Skrabets and Andrei Tsianiuta, who are to be drafted into the army in late September.’
The statement has been signed by the Human Rights Center, Vilnius-based Human Rights Alliance, Human Rights Center Viasna, Kyiv-based Legal Assistance to Citizens, Foundation for the Development of Legal Technologies etc.