Human rights defenders: the situation in Belarus remains stably bad

2012 2012-12-10T16:24:30+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Valinatsin Stefanovich (HRC "Viasna") and Aleh Hulak (BHC)

Valinatsin Stefanovich (HRC "Viasna") and Aleh Hulak (BHC)

On 10 December the international community celebrates another anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The document was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948. The Human Rights Day has been officially marked since 1950. The Declaration became a universally accepted norm, towards the implementation of which the people of all countries should strive, taking into account the fact that this document is a large step forwards on the humanity's way of progress.

The situation of human rights in Belarus is “stably bad”,” the human rights defender Valiantsin Stefanoavich stated to BelaPAN. “The country's authorities restrict the fundamental civil and political freedoms – freedom of peaceful assemblies, assembly, expression, participation in the government through free, democratic and fair elections, and son on,” emphasized Mr. Stefanovich.

A special concern is caused by the fact that the Belarusian authorities “”openly demonstrate disrespect to the international commitments in the sphere of human rights protection, voluntary undertaken by Belarus within the framework of UN and OSCE”.

This concern is shared by the head of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Aleh Hulak. “The state ignores its international undertakings in the sphere of human rights. In particular, recently the authorities have refused to cooperate with the UN Human Rights Committee,” he pointed.

“Pitifully enough, the situation can be characterized by the medical term “stably bad”, as nothing changes to the better in respect of human rights in Belarus. The country constantly has political prisoners, there are huge problems with the realization of civil and political rights and freedoms and the instruments for their realization,” added Mr. Hulak.

The human rights defenders intend to continue their activities. According to Stefanovich, solidarity actions with political prisoners will take place on 10 December all over Belarus, as well as actions aimed at informing the Belarusian community about the real situation of human rights in the country. “We addressed our colleagues with the call to hold them and proposed them to chose the forms on their own. It can be writing letters to prisoners of conscience, meetings, demonstration of human rights films, etc. I know that an outdoor lecture on human rights defenders is planned in Vitsebsk,” said Valiantsin Stefanovich.

This day Belarusian human rights defenders will also discuss the situation of human rights in Minsk at a human rights conference, will present awards for exceptional achievements in the sphere of human rights in three nominations: “Human rights defender of the year 2012”, “Counsel of the year 2012” and “Journalist of the year 2012”. They will also sum up the results of a contest of hand-made production dedicated to human rights issues.