Immediately release all political prisoners, as well as all individuals detained in connection with the exercise of freedom of peaceful assembly in the post-election period, and end political repression against the country's citizens.
We, representatives of the Belarusian human rights community, reaffirming our position expressed in the joint statement of November 18, 2020 on the arrest of members of the Belarusian Students’ Union, note that their persecution by the Belarusian authorities is associated with the peaceful exercise of freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and international human rights standards in the field of freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly.
BSA is one of the oldest and most famous organizations of Belarusian youth. The association emerged as an anti-communist youth organization in the late 1980s, united democratic youth on the grounds of resistance to authoritarian regime during Lukashenko's dictatorship consolidation, for which it was deprived of legal registration in the early 2000s. However, the organization has withstood many repressions and has retained the ability to attract Belarusian youth, for whom the values of freedom, democracy and human rights are important.
We drew the attention of the Special Rapporteur to the fact that this situation greatly affects the inhabitants of Novaya Borovaya, who are active citizens engaged in political life, resulting in violation of their right to an adequate standard of living and the highest attainable standard of physical health.
Numerous video footage of the incident and testimonies by eyewitnesses allow us to conclude that officers of special units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus were involved in the crime with a high degree of probability. This is evidenced, in particular, by the purpose of their actions (removing the protest symbols), equipment typical of law enforcement agencies, professional and coordinated actions of the attackers when detaining and carrying Raman to a minibus, which allegedly belongs to one of special police units, and the eventual transportation of the detainee to the district police department. Failure to take immediate law-stipulated measures to investigate the crime is further evidence of the government's involvement in its commission.
We consider the persecution of Dzmitry Dubkou, Tsimur Ryzapur, Viktar Siadou, Valery Kalenchyts, Pavel Niapeuny, Dzmitry Kanapelka, Raman Kananovich, Yauhen Prapolski, Raman Hvazdziolak, Yury Kuzmich, Ivan Bahdzevich, Maryia Nestserava, Ihar Prazhennikau, Dzianis Hutsin, Maksim Babich (minor), Kiryl Paulavets, Volha Klaskouskaya, Dzianis Dzemukh, and Yauhen Dzmitryeu to be politically motivated, as it is solely linked to the exercise of their freedom of peaceful assembly and expression related to the announced results of the presidential election and are calling them political prisoners.
Appeal to business by Belarusian human rights organisations in connection with the human rights crisis in Belarus
Due to the outlined facts and current circumstances, any public or private business enterprise which currently operates in Belarus or which has business ties with Belarusian companies and organisations is risking to be involved (directly or indirectly) in violations of human rights and to be in breach of international laws and its internal policies and codes of conduct, which will result in serious reputational and financial harm to any such business.
Усе гэтыя гады мы працуем для таго, каб правы чалавека былі важнай часткай правілаў гульні ў краіне.
HRDs condemn government-run Constitutional reform as “attempt to silence gross human rights violations”
We consider it important to reform the Constitution, including to ensure a real separation of powers, to create additional measures to protect human rights, but an effective dialogue to discuss proposals to change the Constitution is only possible after the situation in the country de-escalates: the authorities must stop repression and persecution of dissidents, refrain from detaining peaceful demonstrators, release political prisoners, and initiate criminal proceedings against all those involved in torture.
We assess the persecution of Siarhei Bryl, Andrei Papou, Pavel Niadbaila, Siarhei Liazhenka, Dzmitry Ivashkou, Yury Bialko, Dzmitry Lastouski, Yaraslau Zbarouski, and Dzianis Boltuts as politically motivated, as it is solely connected with the exercise of their freedom of peaceful assembly and expression. We, therefore, consider them to be political prisoners.
We consider administrative persecution of Leanid Markhotka to be a punishment for carrying out peaceful human rights advocacy.
Mr. Pylchanka received a notification from the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus that on 15 October 2020 a meeting of the Qualification Commission on the Matters of Advocate’s activity in the Republic of Belarus would be held to consider the termination of his license to carry out advocate’s activity.
We consider administrative persecution of Leanid Markhotka to be a punishment for carrying out peaceful human rights advocacy.
The experts focused on the rights to life, personal freedom and humane treatment, as well as freedom from torture. The report also touches on violations of the rights of journalists and children.
The human rights defenders focused on the following topics: violation of the right to life, torture, violence, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention, pressure on journalists, situation with lawyers, and violations of children's rights.
We expect the Constitutional Court as a check-and-balance mechanism establishing fundamental approaches to the observance of the requirements of the Constitution on ensuring democracy, the rule of law and the right to judicial protection, to provide a more detailed legal explanation and use competent and professional approach in substantiating the document and its specific points.
We are convinced that the criminal prosecution of Maryia Kalesnikava, Maksim Znak and Illia Salei is politically motivated, as it is only aimed at affecting or stopping their legal activities.
UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers was informed on the situation with lawyers Maxim Znak and Ilya Salei
Belarusian Helsinki Committee considers that these actions have interfered with the professional activities of lawyers and undermined their independence for political reasons.
Statement on the situation with Maria Kalesnikava in the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
The Working Group requests the States to investigate cases and notify the Working Group of the results. We hope that the submitted statement will allow us to quickly get to know what happened to Maria Kalesnikava and stop the practice of enforced disappearances of opponents of the current government.
The response is as follows: Since your communication contains no information about specific crimes and other circumstances, there are no grounds for the Investigative Committee for conducting an audit specifically on this appeal and making decisions as prescribed by the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Belarus.
Request to the Supreme Court and Prosecutor General's Office on cancellation / appeal against judgements regarding persons detained on 9-12 August
These appeals were submitted in connection to the violations in the administration of justice.
ver 6,000 individuals were arrested, held in incommunicado detention for up to 10 days, with at least 450 of them beaten, humiliated and tortured by law enforcement personnel. The torture and ill-treatment appear widespread and endemic, and the law enforcement system had been prepared and trained for such brutal crackdown against the people.
BELARUSIAN HELSINKI COMMITTEE APPEALS TO INVESTIGATIVE COMMITTEE ON MASS TORTURE OF PEOPLE IN BELARUS
The BHC draws the IC's attention to the fact that the agency has all the information to initiate a criminal case.
Campaign analytic reports are here.
We put all the responsibility for what happened on the authorities and law enforcement agencies. At the same time, we call for a prompt de-escalation of the conflict. We want to emphasize once again that the use of violence, the dispersal of assemblies and the detention of their participants without reasonable justification are an unacceptable restriction on the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of expression. We note that any violence inevitably leads to a backlash that can be unpredictable and uncontrolled. In this regard, we once again call on the police, the military and other authorities and units involved in the dispersal of peaceful demonstrations to exercise restraint and to refrain from using violence and weapons.
We, representatives of Belarusian human rights organizations, protest against the political persecution and detention of political prisoner Pavel Seviarynets and demand to: revoke all administrative sentences imposed on Pavel Seviarynets for organizing or participating in peaceful assemblies and to immediately release the activist; immediately release all political prisoners serving terms of administrative detention for exercising their freedom of peaceful assembly and expression; conduct an investigation and bring to justice all those involved in torture and cruel, inhuman treatment of Pavel Seviarynets and other detainees.
We, representatives of the Belarusian human rights community, declare that the prosecution of Uladzislau Buryn, Dzianis Syrets, Aliaksandr Zhmuro, Larysa Tankashkur, Maksim Skalkin, Yury Samusevich, Aliaksei Haloukin, Aleh Zubrytski, Aliaksei Melnikau, Andrei Kareshnikau, Ihar Pyzhjanau, and Ivan Viarbitski is politically motivated and they are political prisoners.
On 25 June the BHC Assembly of representatives took place where the outcomes of the Committee’s work for the past two years were discussed. The Assembly considered BHC record in the reported year to be satisfactory. In addition, the Committee’s management bodies were elected.
This document proposes to consider the balance of business and human interests in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The document provides an analysis of the main factors influencing the search for such a balance, as well as an overview of the main behavioral strategies and some specific measures that are important for business as an employer and as a producer of goods and services, as well as for the state as a regulator to protect a person as an individual with rights, and as the basis of modern economic growth. The document was compiled taking into account the recommendations of the ILO, WHO, OHCHR, the International Chamber of Commerce, Belarusian and foreign practice.
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.