News for May 2020

Belarusian authorities must cease attacks on human rights defenders and journalists

14.05.2020 Belarusian authorities must cease attacks on human rights defenders and journalists

Statement of the Human Rights House Foundation. 13 May 2020

EU, OSCE, Reporters without Borders condemn crackdown on journalists and activists in Belarus

14.05.2020 EU, OSCE, Reporters without Borders condemn crackdown on journalists and activists in Belarus

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, expressed his concerns and denounced the detention and imprisonment of journalists and freelance reporters for ‘participating in unauthorized events’ in Belarus. He called for their immediate release.

Viasna insists on immediate release of its arrested members

13.05.2020 Viasna insists on immediate release of its arrested members

Statement of the Board of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Minsk - May 12, 2020

Crackdown on Peaceful Protesters Mars Beginning of Presidential Campaign Season

13.05.2020 Crackdown on Peaceful Protesters Mars Beginning of Presidential Campaign Season

The campaign season for Belarus’ presidential elections, scheduled for August 9, saw sweeping repression against civil society by authorities. Over the past week, authorities arbitrarily detained over 100 peaceful protesters across Belarus, charging them with administrative fines and arrests.

Observatory strongly condemns harassment of Alena Masliukova

13.05.2020 Observatory strongly condemns harassment of Alena Masliukova

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the judicial harassment of Ms. Alena Masliukova, an environmental rights defender and member of Human Rights Centre “Viasna” (HRC Viasna) in Svetlogorsk, as well as the search of her apartment and the illegal seizure of her equipment, in the context of the repression of an environmental protest movement against the construction of a bleached-pulp factory in Svetlogorsk.

Human rights defenders, protesters convicted across Belarus

12.05.2020 Human rights defenders, protesters convicted across Belarus

Several human rights defenders and opposition activists have been sentenced to short terms of detention or fined following trials held today in various parts of Belarus. These include Viasna’s activists Aliaksandr Burakou in Mahilioŭ and Uladzimir Vialichkin in Brest.

Kyrgyzstan: Supreme Court to Hear Case of Human Rights Defender Azimjan Askarov on May 13

12.05.2020 Kyrgyzstan: Supreme Court to Hear Case of Human Rights Defender Azimjan Askarov on May 13

Paris - Geneva - Bishkek, May 12, 2020 - After 10 years of unjust detention, journalist and human rights defender Azimjan Askarov faces the final hearing before the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan on May 13.

120 people affected by new crackdown on peaceful protesters

11.05.2020 120 people affected by new crackdown on peaceful protesters

The Human Rights Center “Viasna” is aware of at least 120 new cases of persecution targeting peaceful protesters documented since May 6, after police arrested critical vlogger Siarhei Tsikhanouski in Mahilioŭ.

Picks of the week

09.05.2020 Picks of the week

Authorities target critical bloggers and peaceful protesters as Parliament sets presidential election for August 9

UN experts urge Belarus to release children and young people jailed for drug offences amid COVID-19 crisis

08.05.2020 UN experts urge Belarus to release children and young people jailed for drug offences amid COVID-19 crisis

The soaring number of COVID-19 cases in Belarus should compel the Government to immediately release children and young people imprisoned for drug-related offences, UN human rights experts said on May 7.

Presidential election set for August 9

08.05.2020 Presidential election set for August 9

The House of Representatives, Belarusian Parliament’s lower chamber, has set a date for the presidential election today, the government-run BelTA news agency said. The vote will be held on August 9.

Political prisoner Pilip Shaurou released pending trial set for May 18

07.05.2020 Political prisoner Pilip Shaurou released pending trial set for May 18

Pilip Shaurou, activist of the Young Front opposition group facing criminal vandalism charges, has been released from pre-trial detention to await trial. The hearing is scheduled for May 18.

Officials hold back COVID-19 facts from media and the public

06.05.2020 Officials hold back COVID-19 facts from media and the public

The state propaganda accuses its private counterparts of misinformation and escalation, and the authorities threaten reporters with penalties. Meanwhile, officials have built a ‘wall of silence’ to suppress information about the COVID-19 crisis, Belarusian Association of Journalists said.

Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders stands up for jailed Brest activists

02.05.2020 Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders stands up for jailed Brest activists

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Belarus.

Human Rights Situation in Belarus: April 2020

01.05.2020 Human Rights Situation in Belarus: April 2020

The country’s human rights community voiced its particular concern over the government’s current policy to address the coronavirus pandemic crisis. Contrary to the WHO recommendations, the Belarusian authorities continue to conduct mass events, including the nationwide “subbotnik” (unpaid social labor day) and preparations for the May 9 military parade in Minsk, and refuse to introduce a quarantine in educational institutions.

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