News for November 2014

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum: Challenges and Prospects

26.11.2014 Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum: Challenges and Prospects

The sixth meeting of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership, which was held in Batumi, adopted a strategy of the forum’s development for 2015-2017.

Court in Hrodna fines activists over memorial picket

26.11.2014 Court in Hrodna fines activists over memorial picket

On November 25, a court in Hrodna heard the administrative cases of four people who attended the traditional action in memory of the 1863 anti-Russian uprising in the town of Svislach on October 26. Judge Alena Piatrova fined journalist and human rights activist Uladzimir Khilmanovich and United Civil Party activist Jerzy Grygencha 5.25 million rubles each, and Radio Liberty journalist Mikhail Karnevich and UCP activist Vital Lopasau 2.25 mln each on charges of participating in an unsanctioned event.

Open Letter of BAJ and EFJ against Prosecution of Our Colleagues in Vitebsk

26.11.2014 Open Letter of BAJ and EFJ against Prosecution of Our Colleagues in Vitebsk

Before November 5, the day of the international campaign Stand Up For Journalism, a team of BAJ members from Vitebsk took a photo at the background of a famous graffiti in Vitebsk – the image of paper-cut birds flying out of cage. This was a symbolic action to join the international campaign of the EFJ and the campaign of BAJ in support of journalists prosecuted for their professional activities.

Activist in Mahiliou requests responsibility for breaking law on citizens’ petitions

26.11.2014 Activist in Mahiliou requests responsibility for breaking law on citizens’ petitions

Valadar Tsurpanau, an activist in Mahiliou, has written to the Constitutional Court asking to consider the return of responsibility for violating the law on petitions of citizens and legal entities. According to him, only liability under Art. 9.13 of the Administrative Code will be able to stop the practice, when Belarusian-language petitions are replied in Russian by officials.

Former political prisoner Andrei Haidukou sentenced to 10 days in jail

26.11.2014 Former political prisoner Andrei Haidukou sentenced to 10 days in jail

On November 25, Judge Uladzimir Biasetski of the Polatsk City Court found former political prisoner Andrei Haidukou guilty of violating Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code and sentenced him to 10 days of arrest for “holding an unauthorized picket with the distribution of leaflets”.

25.11.2014 Art-Siadziba activist released

The report drawn up relating to the administrative violation of Syarhei Babaitsau has been reported out.

Conservative Christian Party deputy chair to stand trial over memorial rally

25.11.2014 Conservative Christian Party deputy chair to stand trial over memorial rally

Another administrative trial of deputy chairman of the Conservative Christian Party BPF, Yuras Belenki, will be held on November 28 in the Leninski District Court of Minsk.

25.11.2014 Pavel Vinahradau: I do not want to be political alcoholic

Zmena leader Pavel Vinahradau decides to move in with his father in Berazino under threat of ending up in a detox labor camp on trumped up charges.

25.11.2014 Ukrainian flags at Minsk Arena banned for convenience of audience

Police and arena administration commented on the incident at the Okean Elzy concert, Ukraine and Belarus MFAs exchanged views on Twitter.

Police detain wheelchair user during banned picket in Svetlahorsk

25.11.2014 Police detain wheelchair user during banned picket in Svetlahorsk

Civil society activist Yury Liashenka was detained this afternoon in Svetlahorsk. The city authorities did not allow the wheelchair user to stage a picket at the city’s central square. The activist intended to protest against failure to meet the rights of persons with disabilities during the renovation of a residential building in Lenin Street. As a result, the desperate activist decided to hold an unsanctioned rally.

Brest Regional Court dismisses appeal of activist in Baranavichy

25.11.2014 Brest Regional Court dismisses appeal of activist in Baranavichy

On November 24, the Brest Regional Court dismissed a cassation appeal lodged by Baranavichy entrepreneur Mikalai Charnavus in a defamation lawsuit against deputy chief of the city department of internal affairs Eldar Vilchkouski. The court session was conducted by Judge Andrei Alesenka.

Belarusian journalist shortly detained on Russian border

25.11.2014 Belarusian journalist shortly detained on Russian border

On November 24, Russian border guards detained Belarusian journalist Larysa Shchyrakova and opposition activist Kanstantsin Zhukouski. The Homel-based journalist was making a story about the Belarusian-Russian border in the Dobrush district. Later they moved across the border into Russia and there filmed trucks moving from Belarus to Russia to prove restrictions on transit of Belarusian exports. They were stopped by Russian border guards, who took their passports and asked about the purpose of their trip.

Trade union activist complains about detention conditions in Niasvizh jail

25.11.2014 Trade union activist complains about detention conditions in Niasvizh jail

Aliaksandr Vaitseshyk, activist of the independent trade union of radio-electronic industry (REP) in the city of Baranavichy, who served a 2-day detention in the police department of Niasvizh for requesting a book of complaints in a local canteen, has written a complaint to the Prosecutor General’s Office. In his complaint, the activist tells about poor conditions of detention and asks to close the temporary detention facility of the Niasvizh district police department.

Vitsebsk activists complain against administrative charges

25.11.2014 Vitsebsk activists complain against administrative charges

Opposition activist Tatsiana Seviarynets and Alena Shabunyi have written a statement to the police department and the city Prosecutor’s Office against a police officer of the Chyhunachny district police department who charged them with alleged participation in an unsanctioned rally. Both ladies insist that they were simply photographed against the backdrop of one of the city’s buildings.

Fresh probe to be launched over death in Svetlahorsk jail

24.11.2014 Fresh probe to be launched over death in Svetlahorsk jail

The Svetlahorsk District Court has quashed a decision by the district department of the Investigative Committee, which earlier refused to open a criminal investigation into the death of Aliaksandr Akulich, who died while serving an administrative arrest in the detention center of the town’s police department in May 2012. The judge agreed with all the arguments of the victim’s mother and the human rights defenders of the HRC “Viasna”.

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