• HRDs demand retrials and release of 3 more political prisoners

    We, representatives of the Belarusian human rights community, consider the persecution of Kiryl Kazei, Yury Siarhei and Aliaksei Paviadaila as politically motivated. The convicts are therefore political prisoners. //
  • Immediately release political prisoner Tatsiana Hatsura-Yavorskaya!

    Reaffirming the position set out in the joint statement of the Belarusian human rights community on the detention of human rights defenders Tatsiana Hatsura-Yavorskaya and Enira Branitskaya, we consider the persecution of Tatsiana Hatsura-Yavorskaya to be politically motivated, as it is aimed at sanctioning her public and nonviolent activities for the sake of protecting fundamental rights freedoms. Tatsiana Hatsura-Yavorskaya is therefore a political prisoner, according to para. 3.1 (b) of the Guidelines on the Definition of Political Prisoners. //
  • Five more convicts in defamation trials called political prisoners

    We consider the persecution and imprisonment Stanislau Paulinkovich, Valery Loza, Yury Karnilovich, Pavel Berasniou and Vital Zaradzei to be politically motivated, as they are linked to their peaceful exercise of freedom of expression. The convicts are therefore political prisoners. //
  • Human rights groups insist on release and retrials for 15 more political prisoners

    According to the Guidelines for the Definition of Political Prisoners, violence provoked by the initial disproportionate use of physical force, police equipment or weapons, provided that the actions of the accused were not intended to cause non-symbolic material damage or harm, gives grounds to consider persons in question as political prisoners. In addition, monitoring of these trials proved that the courts handed down excessively harsh (disproportionate to the offense) sentences, as compared to similar sentences pronounced in the same categories of trials outside the political context. The duration or conditions of imprisonment under the sentences handed down to protesters are clearly disproportionate to the offenses of which they were found guilty. In a number of cases, court hearings were held behind closed doors, as members of the public, human rights defenders and the media were not allowed to attend. Moreover, the courts’ orders to classify the hearings were not conditioned by the need to protect state secrets or personal information of the participants in the trials, which could be considered as undesirable for public distribution. //
  • Artist Ales Pushkin is a political prisoner

    Ales Pushkin’s portrait of Yauhen Zhykhar, a member of the anti-Soviet post-war guerrilla underground, is in no way a justification for the ideology and practice of Nazism. Nor is it an endorsement of crimes against peace and security committed by the Nazis, including war crimes, recognized as criminal by the verdicts of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg or judgments of other courts based on the verdicts of the International Military Tribunal. The post-World War II anti-Soviet resistance on the territory of Belarus targeted the totalitarian and extremely repressive Stalinist communist regime and constitutes a chapter in the history of our country. By describing the portrayed person, Ales Pushkin did not incite enmity on national, racial, religious or other grounds, did not propagandize war, did not call for any violent actions. Accordingly, his actions do not constitute a crime under Art. 130 of the Criminal Code. //
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