News for 15 Oct 2009

‘Santa Clauses’ surrender to prosecutor’s office on grounds of Article 193.1

15.10.2009 ‘Santa Clauses’ surrender to prosecutor’s office on grounds of Article 193.1

Members of the liquidated Human Rights Center Viasna were among those who took part in the procession of Santa Clauses to the office of the prosecutor general of Belarus. By this unusual representatives of many unregistered civil associations wanted to remind the authorities about Article 193.1 of the Criminal Code that envisages criminal persecution for activities on behalf of unregistered organizations.

Police detained activist of ‘European Belarus’ Maksim Viniarski

15.10.2009 Police detained activist of ‘European Belarus’ Maksim Viniarski

On 14 October the police officers of Minsk metro detained near Maladziozhnaya station the activist of the European Belarus Maksim Viniarski who was handing out informational materials with the demand to release political prisoners.

15.10.2009 Baranavichy: human rights defenders apply to prosecutor’s office

The human rights defenders of Baranavichy seek to stop the disgraceful practice of banning mass actions by the local authorities. Siarhei Housha, Karnei Piatrovich and Viktar Syrytsa prepared an address to the prosecutor’s office of Baranavichy district concerning the ban of a picket to them.

Uladzimir Katsora demands to punish police perjurers

15.10.2009 Uladzimir Katsora demands to punish police perjurers

On 14 October the head of Homel branch of the For Freedom movement Uladzimir Katsora addressed Homel oblast prosecutor’s office with the demand to instigate a criminal case against the police officers who had drawn up on him deceitful reports following his detention on 16 September. Later Katsora and some other democratic activists of Homel were fined by court on the basis of these documents.

15.10.2009 BSDP ‘Hramada’ lost its Minsk office

The Belarusian Social Democratic Party Hramada was obliged to vacate the premises by verdict of the Supreme Court. BelaPAN learnt about this the from deputy head of the party Anatol Sidarevich.

Review-Chronicle of Human Rights Violations in Belarus in September 2009

15.10.2009 Review-Chronicle of Human Rights Violations in Belarus in September 2009

September closed the additional six-month test period the Belarusian authorities were given for starting democratic transformations in the country. Meanwhile, no significant steps were made for improving the situation of human rights in Belarus. The fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of association, freedom of expression and freedom of consciousness remained restricted. On 24 September, at a briefing for representatives of international missions and journalists, the Assembly of pro-Democratic NGOs gave a preliminary evaluation to the activities of the Belarusian authorities on normalization of the situation of NGOs for the previous six months. Siarhei Matskevich, Chairperson of the Working group of the Assembly of NGOs, stated the absence of progress on the three points set for by the European Union: the abolition of Article 193.1 of the Criminal Code, the abolition of the death penalty, the resolution of the problem of non-registration of civil organizations and introduction of a reduced-price office rent tariff for them.

Pukhavichy authorities create obstacles to ‘Maryinahorskaya Hazeta’

15.10.2009 Pukhavichy authorities create obstacles to ‘Maryinahorskaya Hazeta’

KGB presses on entrepreneurs cooperating with independent mass media. A private entrepreneur from Maryina Horka (the Pukhavichy district) has to cancel the rental contract with Maryinahorskaya Hazeta under pressure of the local authorities. On 2 October the newspaper submitted the document for registration to the Ministry of Information.

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