News for May 2020

Picks of the week

29.05.2020 Picks of the week

Peaceful protesters continue to stand trials across Belarus; Viasna's human rights defender complains of "cold cell torture" in prison; Lukashenka's campaigners routinely abuse administrative resources to support the incumbent's nomination

MEPs "deeply worried" by nationwide crackdown ahead of Belarus's presidential election

29.05.2020 MEPs "deeply worried" by nationwide crackdown ahead of Belarus's presidential election

Robert Biedroń and Petras Auštrevičius urge the responsible authorities to "ensure a safe environment for the Presidential election by providing protective personal equipment for election personnel, adjusting the voting facilities to guarantee health and safety of participating citizens and ensuring undisturbed work of the election observers.”

UN Human Rights Committee calls on Belarus not to expel Kurdish activist to Turkey

27.05.2020 UN Human Rights Committee calls on Belarus not to expel Kurdish activist to Turkey

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has enforced interim measures to protect Hicri Mamas, a Turkish citizen currently detained in Belarus, from being extradited to Turkey, where he is facing torture in what he says is a trumped-up case. By doing this, the UNHRC has called on the Belarusian government to suspend the expulsion of Mamas while his complaint against the decision is being examined by the Committee, Human Constanta said.

HRW denounces 'wave of arrests' in Belarus as elections loom

25.05.2020 HRW denounces 'wave of arrests' in Belarus as elections loom

Belarus has intensified its crackdown on independent activists and journalists with a "new wave of arbitrary arrests" ahead of presidential elections, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says.

2020 Presidential Election. Report on the formation of territorial election commissions

23.05.2020 2020 Presidential Election. Report on the formation of territorial election commissions

A peculiarity of this year’s election is the context of the coronavirus pandemic, which affected the process of nominating representatives of parties and public associations and the procedure for holding meetings of the bodies that formed the TECs.

Supreme Court confirms death sentence for Kostseu brothers

22.05.2020 Supreme Court confirms death sentence for Kostseu brothers

The Supreme Court of Belarus has upheld today the double death sentence handed down to Stanislau and Illia Kostseu charged with murdering their former schoolteacher in April 2019. The death verdicts have become final.

2020 Presidential Election. Report on the registration of nomination groups

21.05.2020 2020 Presidential Election. Report on the registration of nomination groups

55 applications were submitted to the CEC to request the registration of groups formed to nominate future presidential candidates, which is an all-time record in the history of Belarusian presidential elections.

CEC approves 15 nomination groups in August 9 presidential election

20.05.2020 CEC approves 15 nomination groups in August 9 presidential election

The Central Election Commission has registered 15 groups formed to support the nominations of future presidential candidates. These include the incumbent Aliaksandr Lukashenka, former Belgazprombank CEO Viktar Babaryka, ex-MP Hanna Kanapatskaya, BSDH party leader Siarhei Cherachen, United Civil Party chairman Mikalai Kazlou, and Tell the Truth leader Andrei Dzmitryeu.

Viasna’s Volunteer Service through the eyes of its members

19.05.2020 Viasna’s Volunteer Service through the eyes of its members

Now there are more than 40 active people in the Volunteer Service who are ready at almost any moment to engage in the promotion of human rights. We asked some of our volunteers to tell us about their views on and experience of volunteering.

Political prisoner Pilip Shaurou walks free after mild sentence

19.05.2020 Political prisoner Pilip Shaurou walks free after mild sentence

The court of the Centraĺny district of Minsk has sentenced Pilip Shaurou, activist of the Young Front opposition group earlier called a political prisoner by Belarusian human rights defenders, to a fine of 1,350 rubles, finding him guilty of criminal vandalism and property damage.

2020 Presidential Election. Weekly observation report: May 8-17

18.05.2020 2020 Presidential Election. Weekly observation report: May 8-17

The election is taking place against the background of the coronavirus pandemic, which is a serious challenge carrying enormous risks for lives of both the direct participants in the electoral process and other citizens of the country as a whole.

Key national human rights groups call to end persecution of peaceful protesters, journalists and defenders

15.05.2020 Key national human rights groups call to end persecution of peaceful protesters, journalists and defenders

In May 2020, the Belarusian authorities began widespread repression against the country’s civil society. More than 120 people were arbitrarily arrested and sentenced to fines and terms of detention across Belarus. The human rights community of Belarus demands an end to the persecution of peaceful demonstrators, human rights activists and journalists and the release of those serving their sentences.

Harassment of Viasna activists continues

15.05.2020 Harassment of Viasna activists continues

Ales Burakou, member of Viasna’s office in Mahilioŭ, has been detained today over his alleged involvement in protests held on May 5 and 6.

Belarus: Arbitrary arrest of several environmental rights defenders in Brest

15.05.2020 Belarus: Arbitrary arrest of several environmental rights defenders in Brest

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the enforced disappearance and incommunicado detention of two environmental rights defenders, as well as the arbitrary arrest and judicial harassment of several other environmental rights defenders in the context of the repression of an environmental protest movement against the construction of a battery plant LLC “IPower” in Brest.

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections" launch observation amid new repression and COVID-19 pandemic concerns

14.05.2020 "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections" launch observation amid new repression and COVID-19 pandemic concerns

Representatives of "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections", the country’s only non-partisan election monitoring initiative, held yesterday their first online press conference to announce the launch of a long-term observation of the August 9 presidential election.

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