News for August 2016
31.08.2016 Counting of Votes Revisited
On September 11, the parliamentary elections will culminate in Election Day, which, in turn, will end with vote counting, a procedure of extreme secrecy, according to election officials. Meanwhile, it is the vote count that has traditionally triggered fierce criticism of both domestic and international observers, not to speak of opposition candidates running for Parliament. The observers’ recommendations are that the vote counting procedure needs more transparency.
29.08.2016 Greek academic and activist Dimitris Christopoulos elected FIDH President
Dimitris Christopoulos has been elected President of FIDH. He succeeds Iranian lawyer Karim Lahidji who headed the international human rights NGO for the last three years. The vote was held during the 39th FIDH Congress in Johannesburg where its 178 member organisations from 120 countries were gathered to elect the new International Board and determine the main orientations for the next three years.
29.08.2016 1863x.com extremism case breach of right to fair trial, Viasna expert says
On August 25, the Court of Minsk’s Centraĺny district said that the 1863x.com website contained extremist publications, a fact that paves way to the criminal conviction of its founder, Eduard Palchys, who is currently awaiting trial in a jail in Žodzina.
26.08.2016 Report on monitoring of the Independence Day mass action on August 25, 2016
The action dedicated to Independence Day took place on August 25, 2016, from 6 pm to 7:40 pm. The event was organized by activists of the Malady Front (Young Front); the invitation to take part in Kupala readings and to proceed to Independence Square was published in online media.
26.08.2016 Court finds extremism in 1863x.com case
Nine articles published on the 1863x.com website contain elements of extremism, according to a decision by the Court of Minsk’s Centraĺny district of August 25.
24.08.2016 Ales Bialiatski: Russia rapidly returning to Soviet Union, which inevitably affects its neighbors
Ales Bialiatski, chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, spoke yesterday at FIDH Congress in Johannesburg as part of a session entitled “Invoking morals, religious or traditional values to build a new world order: States opposing human rights principles”.
23.08.2016 ENEMO observers still unwelcome in Belarus
The Belarusian Central Election Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have not yet replied to a request asking for the invitation of an ENEMO mission to observe the parliamentary elections scheduled for September 11, according to ENEMO Secretariat.
22.08.2016 Viasna activists attend FIDH Congress in Johannesburg
FIDH, together with its member organisations, Lawyers for Human Rights in South Africa, DITSHWANELO – The Botswana Centre for Human Rights in Botswana and Zimrights in Zimbabwe, is holding, under the high patronage of Desmond Tutu, its 39th Congress in Johannesburg from 23 to 27 August 2016.
22.08.2016 Human Rights Watch urges Belarus to free Turkmen dissident
Belarusian authorities are holding a former journalist from Turkmenistan on an extradition request by the Turkmen government, Human Rights Watch said on Saturday. They should immediately release the former journalist, Chary Annamuradov, and under no circumstances extradite or otherwise return him to Turkmenistan, where he would face torture and ill-treatment in custody.
17.08.2016 US Amnesty International’s Eurasia Cogroup Chair: Together we will win
Viachaslau Bortnik, Belarus-born American human rights defender and head of the Eurasia Cogroup at Amnesty International USA in Washington D.C., has visited the Minsk office of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”.
17.08.2016 Mikhail Zhamchuzhny appeals sentence to Supreme Court
On August 1, political prisoner Mikhail Zhamchuzhny sent to the Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Court a supervisory appeal against the 6.5-year sentences he is serving in prison outside Barysaŭ, according to a letter received by the Human Rights Center "Viasna".
16.08.2016 Ales Bialiatski: We hope that Marieluise Beck will remain a sincere friend of Belarus
Marieluise Beck, a member of the Bundestag’s foreign policy committee representing the Greens and an expert on Eastern Europe, announced her decision not to be elected in the next convocation of the German Parliament, according to a message received by the Human Rights Center "Viasna".
15.08.2016 Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections voice findings on first half of elections
Members of the campaign Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections have summed up the first half of the observation of this year’s parliamentary elections.
15.08.2016 Analytical Report on the Registration of Candidates
There were cases of abusing administrative resources in favor of pro-government candidates, as well as pressure on members of opposition candidates’ nomination groups.
12.08.2016 Ales Bialiatski calls for solidarity with political prisoner Uladzimir Kondrus
Viasna leader Ales Bialiatski has sent a postcard to Uladzimir Kondrus and encourages everyone to express their support for the political prisoner, who is currently held in the Minsk detention facility in Valadarski Street.