Brest marks Human Rights Day with a round table
The event was attended by human rights activists, members of political parties, NGOs, trade unions and independent media.
As noted during theround table, according to human rights activists in the past year the human rights situation in Belarus has deteriorated. This is evidenced by an increasing number of political prisoners, as well as the continued repression against activists of public organizations and political parties, and independent journalists.
A separate part of the round table was devoted to freedom of expression in the country, as described in detail by the leader of Brest branch of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Aleh Supruniuk. According to his opinion, media representatives have a great difficulty in performing their professional duties, as access to information is limited, which is evidenced by the fact that only 11 of the 13 known independent newspapers which are published in Belarusian regions are accredited with the government. In addition, a number of independent newsppaers are derpived of the opportunity of distribution by subsription through the state enterprise “Belposhta” and through the newsstands of “Belsayuzdruk”.
Aleh Supruniuk also reminded that Belarus is consistently ranked low in the ratings of international organizations that monitor the situation with freedom of speech. Thus, according to the report of the human rights organization Freedom House on the results of 2012, our country is between the 90-ies and the 100th place. "We used to consider ourselves aa European country, but if you take the state of freedom of speech, our neighbors in the ranking are Equatorial Guinea, Erytreya, Cuba, Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and North Korea," said the head of the Brest branch of the BAJ.
During the round table the participants also mentioned the problems faced by trade unions in protecting workers' rights, persecution of citizens for their political beliefs and other issues wnich do not lose their relevance in the current situation in Belarus.