News for April 2015

Slonim authorities ban chess tournament

28.04.2015 Slonim authorities ban chess tournament

A known chess player and civil society activist Uladzimir Litvin has not been allowed by the Slonim district executive committee to organize on April 26 a chess tournament for teenagers, despite a valid agreement with local sports event organizers and the district executive committee.

Freelance journalist Tamara Schapiotkina fined 7.2 mln

28.04.2015 Freelance journalist Tamara Schapiotkina fined 7.2 mln

Judge Sviataslau Kalina of Brest’s Lieninski District Court ruled to sentence freelance journalist Tamara Schapiotkina to a fine of 40 basic units (7.2 mln rubles) for alleged violation of Art. 22.9, para. 2 of the Administrative Code (illegal manufacturing of media products).

Trade union activist appeals ban on May Day picket in Baranavičy

27.04.2015 Trade union activist appeals ban on May Day picket in Baranavičy

Ryhor Hryk, leader of the Baranavičy office of the independent trade union of radio electronic industry, filed today a complaint in the Baranavičy District and City Court to challenge a ban imposed by the city executive committee on a picket scheduled for May 1.

Report on the results of monitoring Čarnobyĺski šliach 2015 demonstration (photo)

27.04.2015 Report on the results of monitoring Čarnobyĺski šliach 2015 demonstration (photo)

Of greatest concern is the ongoing practice of arbitrary detentions and judicial harassment of some protesters (detention of Viktar Shaputska and Vital Kalinouski). Another negative factor was instances of threats to observers from law enforcement agencies.

27.04.2015 In Mahileu activist arrested for “No corruption” fly sheets

Police detained Mikalai Hladyshau, an activist of the United Civic Party, for distribution of independent newspapers and fly sheets.

Salihorsk court turns down activist’s claim for moral damage compensation

27.04.2015 Salihorsk court turns down activist’s claim for moral damage compensation

Deputy Chair of the Salihorsk District Court Ala Trafimchuk has dismissed the suit of local activist of the European Belarus opposition movement Uladzimir Lemesh asking to compensate for non-pecuniary damage caused to him by the department of internal affairs of the Salihorsk district executive committee.

Freelance journalist Alina Litvinchuk faces new charges

27.04.2015 Freelance journalist Alina Litvinchuk faces new charges

Freelance journalist Alina Litvinchuk is facing new administrative charges under Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code (illegal production and distribution of media products), according to police officer Andrei Ivanitski.

Supreme Court dismisses appeal by critical blogger’s son

27.04.2015 Supreme Court dismisses appeal by critical blogger’s son

Aliaksei Zhalnou, the son of a blogger Aleh Zhalnou, has received an official response from the Supreme Court signed by Valery Kalinkovich, deputy chairman of the court. Aliaksei Zhalnou sought to overturn the sentence imposed by Judge Yuliya Beraziuk of the Babrujsk Court, who sentenced him to three years in an open-type penal colony.

Publisher of independent newspaper in Kryčaŭ accused of slandering police officer

27.04.2015 Publisher of independent newspaper in Kryčaŭ accused of slandering police officer

On April 23, Uladzimir Kudrautsau, the publisher of the Kryčaŭ-based independent newspaper Voĺny horad (“Free City”), was summoned to the local police station to face administrative charges.

More freelance journalists fined in Homieĺ

27.04.2015 More freelance journalists fined in Homieĺ

On April 24, the Centraĺny District Court of Homieĺ considered administrative charges brought against freelance journalists Natallia Kryvashei and Kanstantsin Zhukouski. As a result, they were found guilty of violating Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code (illegal manufacturing of media products) and punished by a fine of 5.4 million each (30 basic units). For Kanstantsin Zhukouski, it was the second fine on the same charges in April.

Interior Ministry uses family visits as means of repression

24.04.2015 Interior Ministry uses family visits as means of repression

Comparing prison rules in Belarus and those in other former Soviet countries, Pavel Sapelka, an expert in the Belarusian prison system, came to the conclusion that this comparison is not in favor of Belarusian prisoners.

CoE Commissioner for Human Rights: 2014 was a bad year for human rights in Europe

24.04.2015 CoE Commissioner for Human Rights: 2014 was a bad year for human rights in Europe

“Last year thousands of people died who should not have died, primarily in the Mediterranean Sea and in eastern Ukraine. They should not have died in a Europe that prides itself on being a space where the rule of law and democracy prevails, on a continent that claims to have drawn lessons from its own bloody and violent history,” said yesterday Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while presenting his annual activity report.

24.04.2015 Chernobyl Way rally to cost organisers 14 million rubles

Each of the organisers has to pay 2,732,300 Belarusian rubles.

Baranavičy authorities ban trade union May Day rally

24.04.2015 Baranavičy authorities ban trade union May Day rally

The Baranavičy City Executive Committee has not allowed local trade union activist Ryhor Hryk to organize a May Day picket, which was expected to raise the issues of protection of labor, social and political rights of the citizens of Belarus.

Chairman of Hrodna Regional Court turns down appeal by local UCP leader

24.04.2015 Chairman of Hrodna Regional Court turns down appeal by local UCP leader

Aliaksandra Vasilevich, head of the Hrodna regional office of the United Civil Party, has received a negative decision from Chairman of the Hrodna Regional Court in a continued challenge against the penalty imposed on her by the Svislač District Court on 16 December 2014.

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