The Observatory: Travel ban imposed on “Viasna” Vice-President Valentin Stefanovich was a "mistake"
PRESS RELEASE - THE OBSERVATORY
BELARUS: Interior Ministry’s Immigration and Citizenship Department acknowledges mistake regarding the travel ban imposed on “Viasna” Vice-President Valentin Stefanovich
Paris-Geneva, July 25, 2012. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), welcomes the official lifting of the travel ban imposed by mistake on the Vice-President of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) “Viasna”, Mr. Valentin Stefanovich.
On July 16, 2012 the Tsentralny District Court of Minsk was expected to determine whether both the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Internal Affairs should remove Mr. Valentin Stefanovich from the travel ban list. During a new court session held on July 20, Mr. Aliaksei Biahun, Head of the Interior Ministry’s Immigration and Citizenship Department, presented official documents confirming the removal of Mr. Stefanovich from the blacklist. The case was therefore dismissed by the judge.
This case had been brought before the court at the request of Mr. Stefanovich on March 27, 2012, after he was stopped at the Belarusian-Lithuanian border crossing point “Kamenny Loh” on March 11, 2012 and was told that he was banned from leaving the territory of the Republic of Belarus, as his name was reportedly registered in the database of those subject to foreign travel restrictions.