Details of new law “On State Security Bodies”

2011 2011-10-14T17:20:35+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Any protests are banned, foreign financing of organisations becomes a criminally punishable act, and the KGB would be able to burst into our homes and offices any time.

Back on 30 September the Council of Ministers of Belarus silently and imperceptibly introduced a draft law “On amending the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On State Security Bodies of Belarus” for consideration of the Belarusian Parliament.

The text of the document was found at the official website of the National Center of Legal Information only yesterday. Notably, none of the state-run mass media, who usually accurately inform about the news of “lawmaking”, this time, were in no hurry to delight their audience by the wonderful initiative of the Council of Ministers.

After reading the document it becomes clear why the authors of this draft law didn’t want public debate in mass media, chudentsov writes in his blog.

Here are some quotations:

…A prosecutor is to be immediately informed about injury or death of a person as a consequence of use of physical force, military weaponry and special purpose equipment, use of weapon by a state security body.

An officer of a state security body does not bear responsibility for injuries and damage caused by use of physical force, special and military equipment, use of weapons in the cases covered by this Law or by other legal acts, when he acted in the conditions of substantiated professional risk…

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… Unimpeded, breaking locking devices and other objects if necessary, they can enter private premises and other lawful possession of individual persons, in premises and (or) other places of state institutions and any time of the day (with the exception of premises and other facilities of diplomatic, consular or other missions of foreign states, international organisations, with enjoy diplomatic immunity under international agreements of the Republic of Belarus, and the premises where staff of these missions and organizations and their families live) and see them over while pursuing persons suspected of having committed a crime, or when there is a probable cause to believe that a crime is being committed or had been committed there, or a person hiding from criminal proceedings agencies is there…

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… To take measures to conceal officers of state security agencies and their activities, using for this aim credentials stating they are workers of government agencies and other organizations; to produce and use documents of governmental agencies and other organizations, and to take other steps for the aims of creation a cover story for state security officers, their activities and identity, for their premises and cars, carrying out special investigation activities and other activities, and also to make other arrangements for creating background…

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…Representatives of state security agencies use handcuffs, rubber truncheons, means for holding in place, special chemical matters, sound and light devices with diversionary action, devices for breaking into premises, for forcible of vehicles and other special means, including service animals, in cases of:

repelling an attack against state security officers or other persons;

release of hostages;

repulsing an attack against buildings, premises, houses and (or) vehicles regardless their ownership or for release of seized facilities;

countering defiance or insubordination to legal demands of security services officials or other persons acting in their official capacity or civil duty for ensuring public order, preventing and terminating crimes and administrative violations;

arrest and taking to state security agencies or police bodies suspects (or accused persons), against whom proceedings had been initiated, in case they show defiance or insubordination, as well as escorting and keeping in custody persons subjected to deportation or exile, persons detained on an immediate suspicion a for committing a crime, persons in custody when they show defiance or insubordination or there are reasons to believe that they could escape or do damage to people around them or themselves;

termination of mass disorder and group violations of public order or actions aimed at damaging and (or) destruction of property;

stopping a vehicle when a driver disobeys obvious, legal and repeated demands of state security bodies’ representatives to stop a car;

in other cases decided on by the President of Belarus…

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… A representative of state security agencies has a right to use weapons, including firearms, and for the use of firearms also in other cases determine by the President of Belarus…

It is not specified what “other cases specified by the President of Belarus” are, and whether tortures and, which is worse, shooting of dissenters in a forest near Drazdy could be used among them – is not stated by the draft law.

To familiarize oneself with the official text of the document in original, go to the website of the National Ceneter of Legal Information.

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In addition, a package of amendments to the laws on public associations, parties, and to the Criminal Code, has been secretly adopted.

From now on, getting financing from abroad by NGOs will be considered a criminal offence. The laws further criminalize mass protest rallies.

“The new laws in fact legitimize the practices used against participants of the Square and Ales Bialiatski”, Nasha Niva quotes lawyer Yury Chavusau.