Picks of the week
The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal by death convict Viktar Serhel. The decision is final and may only be commuted by President’s pardon.
Serhel was sentenced to death for brutally murdering a toddler in the fall of 2018. The man’s accomplice in the crime, Natallia Kolb, who is also the victim’s mother, was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
According to anti-death penalty campaigners, four people are currently held on death row in prison No. 1 in Minsk. In 2019, Belarusian courts handed down three death sentences, and three death row prisoners were executed.
Nine more people were fined and two sentenced to short prison terms as a result of ongoing judicial harassment of participants in a series of anti-integration protests in December 2019.
Blogger Dzmitry Kazlou was awarded another 15 days of detention. This is his eighth consecutive imprisonment on peaceful protesting charges.
Other convicts include writer Liavon Barshcheuski, former member of Parliament Piotr Sadouski, and Novy Chas reporter Dziyana Seradziuk.
In December and January, more than 160 trials have been held in Belarus to prosecute participants in the protests of December 7, 8, 20, and 21. As of January 231, the total amount of fines imposed on the protesters totaled over 60,000 USD. 11 people have been sentenced to a total of 315 days in jail.
85% of Belarusians (89.6% women and 80.4% men) have witnessed employment discrimination, says a research by the Gender Perspectives NGO.
Nearly a quarter have been victims of unequal treatment at work, most of them being women, according to researcher Alena Artsiomenka.
In addition, the study provided a quantitative measurement of people’s reaction to discrimination. Unfortunately, the results are disappointing, as 31.5% [...] resign themselves to the situation, and 42.6% of respondents wanted to do something, but did not react.”
The researchers say the reasons behind the country’s poor discrimination record include fear of reprisals, negative image of human rights protection, lack of true solidarity, and downplaying the gravity of employment-related abuse.