News for 28 Sep 2009

28.09.2009 Authorities afraid of people’s protests

Brest activists of the democratic forces were banned to hold 52 pickets against decline in material standing of people.

It was planned to hold pickets in Brest on September 30. The objective was attracting attention of public and governmental bodies to the decline in material standing caused by consumer goods price increase, decrease in purchasing power and actual wages, and consolidating the efforts of people in their struggle for social and economic rights.

NGO Assembly to raise question of Article 193-1 at OSCE conference

28.09.2009 NGO Assembly to raise question of Article 193-1 at OSCE conference

The Assembly of Belarusian NGOs is going to arrange a round table discussion ‘Article 193-1: Criminal Prosecution for Activities by Unregistered Organizations in Belarus’ as part of the annual OSCE’s Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw, Poland on 30 September. The discussion will cover the most burning questions of the freedom of associations in Belarus, including the practical application of the notorious Article 193-1 of the Belarusian Criminal Code and analysis on the measures aimed at improving the situation with Belarusian NGOs taken by the Belarusian authorities in the context of Belarus-EU dialogue. The meeting will be attended by representatives of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the Human Rights Center Viasna and the NGO Assembly.

28.09.2009 Statement by International Mission to the Republic of Belarus

A group of international media and press freedom organisations today called upon the Belarus authorities to bring the country’s media environment into accordance with international standards, following the visit of a joint delegation to Minsk from 20 to 24 September 2009.

The group welcomes recent changes and recognises that pressure on media and journalists has eased. However, this must be translated into a lasting commitment to ensure the rights of journalists and to undertake much needed reforms of the media environment. Such changes need to be far reaching and irreversible.

28.09.2009 Another warning issued for contribution to Belsat

Vadzim Arshynski, Mahiliou cameraman and artist, has been warned by the city prosecutor’s office for ‘unauthorized shooting and interviewing’ during a charity performance at an orphanage in the town of Chavusy in December 2008, the Belarusian Association of Journalists reports. Mr.Arshynski was warned by a registered letter, without any direct conversations with representatives of the public prosecution bodies. Mahiliou city prosecutor Siarhei Minaeu also accused Vadzim Arshynski of unauthorized publication of the interviews on the Belsat TV channel web-site. However, Mr.Arshynski claims he did not interview anyone during the concert, only videotaping the action.

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