News for 17 Mar 2009

Human rights activist Ales Bialiatski addresses Belarusian Foreign Minister

17.03.2009 Human rights activist Ales Bialiatski addresses Belarusian Foreign Minister

‘I, Ales Bialiatski, am Chair of the Council of the Public Association Human Rights Center Viasna, closed down by verdict of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus of 28 October 2003. Considering the decision of the Supreme Court a violation of the freedom of association and having failed to receive an adequate remedy on the national level, ten founders of the Public Association Human Rights Center Viasna used their constitutional right and submitted an individual complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee.

17.03.2009 Journalist Andzej Poczobut fined

Hrodna Leninski Borough Court fined representative of the Polish minority in Belarus Andzej Poczobut BYR 525,000 for participating in an unauthorized meeting in front of the Dom polski on 17 January. The journalist says the verdict by judge Natallia Kozel is illegal since the rally was provoked by Josuf Lucznik, head of the pro-government Union of Poles.

17.03.2009 Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg expresses his concern about recent facts of human rights violations in Belarus

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, commented on the decision concerning the EU sanctions against Belarus, following a meeting of EU foreign ministers on 16 March: ‘We have agreed that the European Union should continue its engagements in Belarus and supporting the positive events in the country. Therefore, we have agreed to prolong visa sanctions suspension for several Belarusian officials for another 9 months.

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