News for March 2020
27.03.2020 Appeal hearing halves sentence for anarchists Yemialiyanau and Komar
The Minsk City Court has commuted the 7-year prison sentence earlier imposed on anarchists Mikita Yemialiyanau and Ivan Komar. The new terms are 4 years for Yemialiyanau and 3 ½ years for Komar, the appeal court concluded.
25.03.2020 Why are convicted anarchists Yemialyianau and Komar Belarus’s new political prisoners?
On March 27, the Minsk City Court is expected to hear appeals in the case of convicted anarchists Mikita Yemialyianau and Ivan Komar. If upheld, their sentences will become final and the two activists will be sent to serve 7 years in prison. The Human Rights Center “Viasna” analyzed the sentences delivered on February 12 and offers a detailed explanation of why Yemialyianau and Komar are Belarus’s new political prisoners.
23.03.2020 About the Local and What All Hold in Common
Belarusian Human Rights Activist Ales Bialiatski in Conversation with Olga V. Solovieva
20.03.2020 Picks of the week
COVID-19 affects the rights of prisoners, peaceful protesters, and future presidential candidates; convicted trade union activist faces fewer restrictions; victim of police violence gets new chance to punish perpetrators
18.03.2020 Opposition activist facing 6 years in prison on vandalism charges
Pilip Shaurou, an activist of the Young Front opposition group, has faced formal charges, according to his wife Volha.
13.03.2020 Picks of the week
Viasna writes to UN to complain about persecution of peaceful protesters and bloggers; death convicts' sister launches petitions to save her brothers' lives; HRDs alarmed by proposals to criminalize "LGBT propaganda" and raise age of consent for same-sex relationships
12.03.2020 Viasna wins OSCE Democracy Defender Award
The Human Rights Center “Viasna” has been awarded the OSCE’s annual Democracy Defender Award.
09.03.2020 EU reacts to new death sentence in Belarus
"The death penalty violates the inalienable right to life enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment," the European Union said in a statement on another death sentence pronounced in Belarus.
06.03.2020 Picks of the week
Appeal date set for convicted anarchists Mikita Yemialyianau and Ivan Komar; Viasna's activist Aliaksandr Vaitseshyk faces formal charges; Belarus still ranked low in Freedom House annual report
06.03.2020 Man sentenced to death in Sluck on double murder charge
Viktar Skrundzik, aged 29, has been sentenced to death by the Minsk Regional Court after a trial held in the town of Sluck. The man was found guilty of killing two elderly people in January 2019.
05.03.2020 ODIHR releases final report on Belarus parliamentary elections
Following the early parliamentary elections in Belarus on 17 November 2019, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has published its final report. The report offers 32 recommendations to improve the conduct of elections and increase the transparency of and public confidence in the electoral process.
04.03.2020 Human Rights Situation in Belarus: February 2020
According to human rights defenders, in violation of the principles of a fair trial, Mikita Yemialyianau and Ivan Komar were sentenced to excessively cruel and disproportionate punishment. The human rights community called the convicts political prisoners and requested an immediate re-trial for both defendants.
03.03.2020 YouTube vlogger charged with assault of police officer over abusive comment
Volha Zhurauskaya, a Viciebsk-based blogger running a YouTube channel called “Shooting is Allowed”, has been charged with assault of an official (Art. 369 of the Criminal Code).