Human rights defenders marked anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights all over Belarus (photos)
Human rights defenders and
representatives of the civil society celebrated this important date
in different ways in different parts of the
Despite the official prohibition of a human rights picket on 10 December, human rights defenders of Baranavichy held an action dedicated to the Human Rights Day.
They went out to the streets and handed out brochures with the text of the Declaration, and other human rights production.
The citizens eagerly took the hand-outs and asked questions. The action participants reminded the citizens about the global action in support of the political prisoner Ales Bialiatksi, the head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna and vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights, launched by the human rights organization “Amnesty International”.
Human rights defenders and civil society activists handed out more than 300 booklets about Belarusian political prisoners and copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the streets of the cities of Biaroza and Malech.
As stated by them in teh sum-up of the action, the people took the hand-outs more eagerly than during the previous years. Many of them thanked. Few people refused to take the books. One of them said that human rigths are violated in Belarus on a regular basis, that's why it's better not to know about them to have a better sleep.
In the evening of 10 December Brest human rights defenders, representatives of NGOs and independent trade unions gathered to mark the Human Rights Day. They once again recollected the history of this important event – the circumstances in which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted and what world-known people said about it. The film “Human rights in the Europe being united”, shot on the basis of a speech of the head of the Helsinki Foundation of r Human Rights (Warsaw) Marek Novicki short before his death, was demonstrated.
Hrodna human rights defenders held several actions,
Representatives of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” and the Belarusian Helsinki Committee and independent human rights defenders reminded citizens about the imprisoned Ales Bialiatski and the international Human Rights Day by handing out the appropriate printed matter in the streets. Booklets with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were also distributed through the officers of democratic organizations of Hrodna.
Somewhat later, the film “Cause of death left blank” was showed at the Hrodna office of the United Civil Party.
The human rights defender Uladzimir Tseliapun went out to the city center in a T-shirt with a portrait of the human rights defender Ales Bialiatski and inscription "Freedom to Bialiatski". He handed out about 50 copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In Minsk human rights defenders handed out several hundreds of texts of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and booklets with portraits and biographies of Belarusian political prisoners.
A public lecture “What human rights are and how they are implemented in Belarus” was read on 10 December in Vitsebsk by a coordinator of the “For Freedom” movement Khrystafor Zheliapau. The majority of his listeners were policemen and people in mufti who vigilantly watched a small group of activists.
“On the one hand, it's a pity that so few people came. On the other hand, I understand that the people are afraid of the possible consequences of their presence at an “oppositional event”. I think that we managed to do everything alright. We found a new format for our actions: one does not need to apply for an official permission to hold a public action, whereas earlier we kept receiving authorization denial for two years,” said Khrystafor Zhaliapau.
At least, nobody was detained during the lecture and after it, even when Mr. Zhaliapau congratulated the present policemen on the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
By the way, it was the first time when women were present among representatives of the law machinery. They were dressed in mufti and introduced themselves as “Oriflame” workers, but kept close to male policemen.
After the end of the lecture, people in mufti followed the action participants. “Three of us went away, followed by two “in mufti”. They kept tracing us to the railway station, until we got in a car. Other participants were “seen off” the same way,” said Khrystafor Zhaliapau.