Human Rights Watch declares Autukhovich, Asipenka and Liavonau prisoners of conscience
In its annual report, the New-York-based Human Rights Watch international organizations declared Mikalai Autukhovich, Uladzimer Asipenka, Yury Liavonau and Artsiom Dubski prisoners of conscience.
The report highlights an increasing number of attacks against human rights activists and NGOs across the world in 2009.
In several countries, including Eritrea, Northern Korea and Turkmenistan, the regimes have grown so repressive that human rights defenders cannot function there at all.
A number of human rights activists were murdered in Russia, Sri-Lanka Northern Korea and Turkmenistan.
The reports claims Belarusian human rights record has deteriorated in 2009. It mentions four new political prisoners, the brutal dispersal of a number of peaceful demonstrations, the refusals to register two NGOs (Nasha Viasna and the Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs) and three independent newspapers (Novaia hazeta Babruiska, Nasha pravintsyja and Mahiliouski chas).