News for April 2017
13.04.2017 Human Rights Defenders Present Key Recommendations in Brussels Concerning Belarus
During a working visit to Brussels, Belarusian and international human rights defenders held meetings in EU structures, discussing the events of recent few months and calling on EU member states to take decisive measures regarding the Belarusian state in order to reach progress in the sphere of human rights in the country.
11.04.2017 At least 1,032 people executed in 23 countries in 2016, Amnesty International Annual Report says
At least 1,032 people were executed in 23 countries in 2016. In 2015 Amnesty International recorded 1,634 executions in 25 countries worldwide - a historical spike unmatched since 1989.
10.04.2017 Belarus shelves amendments to Electoral Code
Absence of any public information regarding previously announced steps to improve the election legislation suggests that the work of state bodies in this direction has been frozen. Despite this, human rights activists involved in independent monitoring of election campaigns and analytical work in the area continue their efforts aimed at bringing the provisions of the Electoral Code and law enforcement practices in line with international standards.
07.04.2017 Activist Dzmitry Paliyenka to serve 18 months in prison as court revokes suspended sentence
Dzmitry Paliyenka, an activist awarded a 2-year suspended sentence for his involvement in the Critical Mass cycling protest in April 2016, will spend 18 months of the term in prison, after the Zavodski District Court of Minsk revoked today the suspension over alleged violations of related restrictions.
06.04.2017 Aliaksandr Lapitski released from mental hospital
Aliaksandr Lapitski has been released from psychiatric hospital after spending more than five months by order of the Frunzienski District Court of Minsk, which found him guilty of several defamation offenses in April 2016.
06.04.2017 European Parliament condemns “crackdown on peaceful protesters” in Belarus
The European Parliament condemns the “crackdown on peaceful protesters” in mass demonstrations by thousands of citizens across Belarus, in particular on Freedom Day (25 March), when security forces violently attacked and beat protesters and arrested hundreds of people, including domestic and foreign journalists reporting on the events. The protests were directed against the adoption of a Presidential Decree introducing a so-called “social-parasite tax”, designed to penalise unemployment with fees and forced labour.
06.04.2017 Immediately release political prisoner Viachaslau Kasinerau
We believe that Viachaslau Kasinerau is a political prisoner and urge the Belarusian authorities to drop the criminal charges against him and to immediately release the activist.
05.04.2017 Seven more persons charged in ‘rioting case’
Seven more people arrested in the so-called ‘rioting case’ have faced formal charges under Part 3 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code. They are currently held in the KGB prison in Minsk.
05.04.2017 Human Rights Watch: Keep up pressure on Belarus to release detainees and respect fundamental freedoms
“Belarusian authorities led a shocking, all-out assault on peaceful assembly around the Freedom Day protests,” said Yulia Gorbunova, Belarus researcher at Human Rights Watch. “They should immediately release everyone who was detained in connection with the protests and investigate allegations of police mistreatment.”
05.04.2017 Authorities’ actions contradict their words, EU delegation says
The Belarusian authorities’ recent actions contradict the country’s stated policy of democratization and international commitments, the European Union’s delegation to the third round of the EU-Belarus Coordination Group said in a statement on April 4.
03.04.2017 10 charged in ‘rioting case’, at least 6 released
At least 10 persons have been formally charged with preparing riots during the Freedom Day demonstration on March 25. Meanwhile, six people have been released, including four Young Front activists.
03.04.2017 Human Rights Situation in Belarus: March 2017
March was marked by a dramatic deterioration of the human rights situation in the country, which testifies to the return of the authorities of Belarus to the policy of the worst repressive practices.