Belarusian human rights defenders call to immediately release Viktar Babaryka and members of his nomination group
Participation in governing the country through periodic, free and democratic elections is one of the freedoms guaranteed to the citizens of Belarus, both by the Constitution and by international human rights standards, in particular by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
These events are not consistent with fair and democratic elections. It will be recalled that in accordance with the OSCE Copenhagen Document, the Republic of Belarus, as a member state of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, declared that the “will of the people, freely and fairly expressed through periodic and genuine elections, is the basis of the authority and legitimacy of all government.” It also undertook to “respect the right of their citizens to take part in the governing of their country, either directly or through representatives freely chosen by them through fair electoral processes.”
According to paragraph 3.1 of the Guidelines on the Definition of a Political Prisoner, which were approved by the Belarusian human rights community at the 3rd Human Rights Forum, imprisonment of a person in connection with their non-violent exercise of freedoms guaranteed by international human rights law is grounds for recognizing such a person as a political person. Such a person should, therefore, be immediately released.
NEW LAWS IN BELARUS AS GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO 2020 EVENTS & THEIR COMPATIBILITY WITH INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS STANDARDS
The Legal Transformation Center and the Belarusian Helsinki Committee have reviewed the draft laws that may affect the human rights situation in Belarus.
We consider the persecution and imprisonment of Aliaksandr Tsialeha, Uladzislau Shynkovich, Siarhei Khavanski, Artsiom Kasach and Yauhen Liutski to be politically motivated, as they are related to the peaceful exercise of freedom expression. The convicts are therefore political prisoners, in accordance with paragraph 3.1 (a) of the Guidelines on the Definition of Political Prisoners.
The activists stress that the entire electoral process in a pandemic should be aimed at holding fair and free elections and ensure the safety of both voters and other electoral actors. They share the position of the United Nations that the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency threatening to escalate into a human rights crisis, and therefore we all have the responsibility to come up with more effective and inclusive solutions for today's emergency and tomorrow's recovery.
Siarhei Satsuk is known as a journalist and editor engaged in investigative journalism. One of his high-profile investigations was a series of publications exposing corruption in the health care system of Belarus. Later, a number of high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Health Care were convicted of corruption.
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JOINT STATEMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND LGBT ORGANISATIONS REGARDING THE ACTIVITIES AIMED AT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST LGBT-PEOPLE IN BELARUS
.It was known recently that in Belarus 52 thousand signatures were collected for the appeal to the Presidential Administration demanding "initiating the adoption of a law on prohibition of propaganda and public demonstration of homosexuality and other sexual perversions to minors and criminalizaiton of these actions in the Criminal Code."
DATA PLATFORM (BETA) FOR INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY BODIES RELEVANT FOR BELARUS IS OPEN
It saves time and helps you quickly search through international human rights standards for key requests..
In accordance with article 19 of the Covenant, everyone has the right to hold opinions without interference. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
Spiryn was charged under Part 1 of Article 130 of the Criminal Code, “Intentional acts aimed at inciting racial, national, religious or other social hatred or hostility on the grounds of racial, national, religious, linguistic or other social affiliation.” The social group in question, according to the prosecution, is “another group of persons united by professional affiliation,” namely prosecutors, judges, members of Parliament, senior officials of the Republic of Belarus, police officers, riot police officers and even the Minister of Internal Affairs.
A child in Belarus is not a person with his or her own rights and interests.
ARE YOU PROTECTING CHILDREN’S RIGHTS? SUBMIT A THEMATIC REPORT TO THE UN COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD BEFORE DECEMBER 15!
Here’s a bit on how the Committee works, how one can submit a report, what one is to do if they are not ready to write their own report, but still want to promote the topic.
In accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, every one facing a criminal charge has the right to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law
PROTECTION OF ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS THROUGH THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION MECHANISMS: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE
The conference will facilitate an increase in the competencies of civil society representatives in protecting socio-economic rights, preparing and submitting reports to the UN treaty bodies, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in particular. It is also a good opportunity to exchange experience with the use of UN treaty bodies with colleagues from non-governmental organizations from various thematic sectors.
You can find the analytics for this election campaign in Documents. The monitoring will involve 40 long-term and 300 short-term observers.
Belarusian human rights organizations issued a joint position on the verge of the next following round of EU-Belarus dialog.
THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT EXPRESSED THE NEED FOR AMENDMENTS TO THE CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, THE PROSECUTOR'S ACTIONS FOR CASES WITH NEWLY DISCOVERED CIRCUMSTANCES MAY BE APPEALED TO THE COURT
The decision was made by the Constitutional Court after the appeal of the citizen A.Khvostik. The Belarusian Helsinki Committee helped to prepare the papers for the case.
The human rights community has repeatedly highlighted the fact that the duty of payment for peaceful assemblies associated with the exercise of freedom of peaceful assembly and of expression, is an unacceptable practice that drastically limits the possibility of free exercise of these freedoms in practice.
The report is based on a study of Belarusian legislation and shows a lack of reliable statistics measuring the scale of the problem of homelessness in Belarus.
Representatives of human rights organizations in Belarus call to immediately stop the criminal prosecution of Siarhei Piatrukhin and drop all the charges against him; to not use the Criminal Code in cases involving defamation.
With the assistance of the BHC representative, an initiative group from Bogushevsk prepared collective appeals. One of them - to the Presidential Administration and the Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee with the demands to keep the hospital and the polyclinic - is available on the website “Convenient City.” More than 1000 residents of the urban village and neighboring villages signed the appeals.
We believe that the administrative prosecution of Ms. Krasulina for participating in a peaceful assembly is a disproportionate measure infringing her rights, as this expression of opinion is in no way subject to permissible restrictions on freedom of peaceful assembly set out in art. 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
124th session of the UN Human Rights Committee: Human rights defenders presented their position in the UN
In their report, the HRDs outlined key ears of concern in terms of Belarus’s obligations under the Covenant, in particular failure to properly investigate cases of forced disappearances, continued application of the death penalty, police-related torture reports, forced labor, lack of independence of defense lawyers, repressive legislation governing the activities of the media, NGOs and organization of peaceful assemblies.
One of the levers of pressure on the independent media is economic discrimination against them. It is manifested, in particular, by an effective prohibition of foreign investments in the media, on the one hand, and by the annual government funding of public media in the amount of EUR 50 mln., on the other
The open letter stresses that Mikhail Zhamchuzhny is exposed to “additional suffering, besides that caused by the very fact of his imprisonment” and urges the head of State to release the prisoner “on the basis of principles of humanism and justice.”
We urge the Parliament to take the following steps when considering the draft bill: remove Article 193.1 from the Criminal Code; vote against the introduction of administrative responsibility through a supplement to the Administrative Code; start a public discussion with all stakeholders of further changes in legislation regulating the establishment and activities of civil society organizations.
Human rights defenders condemn mass detentions ahead and during peaceful assemblies on March 25, 2018
Human rights activities should be guaranteed by the state in accordance with the Declaration on the Right and Responsibilities of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights