News for 16 Mar 2009

Human rights activists say Paliakova’s verdict was illegal

16.03.2009 Human rights activists say Paliakova’s verdict was illegal

Representatives of the Belarusian human rights community say the verdict passed on Yana Paliakova was illegal and groundless. Now, independent lawyers are trying to appeal the verdict and rehabilitate the activist, who committed suicide on 7 March, after Salihorsk Town Court found her guilty of ‘deliberately false denunciation’ (Article 400 paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code of Belarus) and sentenced her to 2.5 years of personal restraint.

Presentation of new human rights edition due on 18 March

16.03.2009 Presentation of new human rights edition due on 18 March

On 18 March the Belarusian Popular Front central office will host the presentation of the book ‘Akrestsina Everyday Life. Diaries by Political Prisoners’, a joint project of Belarusian youth activists and human rights activists. The edition features stories by activists that had to serve their administrative terms in Minsk Offenders Isolation Center in Akrestsin Street in 2006-2008, including UCPB leader Anatol Liabedzka, artist Aliaksei Marachkin and a number of youth activists.

16.03.2009 KGB resumes case against human rights activist Svetsik

Vitsebsk human rights activist Leanid Svetsik has received a letter from the KGB Vitsebsk regional department, saying the secret service has resumed criminal prosecution under Article 130.1 of the Criminal Code (‘stirring up international and interdenominational hatred’). According to Mr.Svetsik, the investigator failed to name the grounds for the resumption. However, he attributes it to the growing pressure against human rights activists, e.g. the negative decision concerning the registration of the Nasha Viasna human rights organization.

16.03.2009 Detention in Vitsebsk

On 15 March Vitsebsk police detained youth activist Kastus Ivanou as he was distributing leaflets in the town center. The action marking the Constitution Day was to draw public attention to the provisions of the Fundamental Law, which guarantee the right to receive true information, the right to freedom of assembly and free expression of political convictions. The leaflets featured a number of facts of abuse of the above-mentioned rights in Belarus, in Vitsebsk, in particular.

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