Human Rights Defenders Are Again Denied Freedom of Movement

Today, on September 30th, 2011 at 3.20 a.m., one more representative of the International Observation Mission of the Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus, Ukrainian civil society activist Volodymyr Senko was prevented from crossing the Belarusian state border. He is a member of the All-Ukrainian Youth Public Association “Foundation of Regional Initiatives”.

Volodymyr was going to Belarus by the train “Kyiv - Minsk”. While checking documents at the border control it turned out that his surname is contained in the database of the border police service with a notice “entry undesirable or banned”. The border guards failed to explain the grounds on which the citizen of the Ukraine was banned entry.

Deputy head of the Gomel border police brigade major Yukreyko, who was called at night by the representatives of the member organisations of the Committee on International Control, confirmed that Volodymyr was banned entry to the Republic of Belarus. He also told that Volodymyr will be sent back to the Ukraine by the first train passing through the frontier post.

At the moment Volodymyr is already on the Ukrainian territory. According to him, after he was put off the train and conveyed to the frontier post station, he has been waiting for being expelled from Belarus for 3 hours. During this period the border guards have been keeping his documents, and when they were returned, he found at the last page of his passport a stamp “entry banned” without indication of the date and country the entry to which is banned. The activist had to buy the return ticket for electric train to Chernihiv at his own expense.

Thus, Volodymyr became already the 12th representative of the Committee on International Control who has been banned entry to the territory of Belarus due to his human rights activities.

It should be noted that just the day before, on September 29th, 2011, at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw the Belarusian authorities were once again reminded of the necessity to fulfil the obligations in the field of freedom of movement that they undertook, particularly, not to prevent international human rights observers from entering the territory of Belarus for conducting monitoring of human rights observance. In response to that the representative of the Belarus official delegation de-facto admitted the existence of “black lists” of human rights defenders, who are banned entry to the country, as well as the absence of will of the Belarusian authorities to bring the situation in conformity with the international standards. And this is once again proven by today’s fact of preventing access of the Mission representative Volodymyr Senko to the Belarusian territory.

For information:

International Observation Mission was created by the Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus, which brings together representatives of the human rights organisations from the OSCE participating states, as well as international civil society networks and organisations for carrying out monitoring of the general situation with observance of fundamental rights in the Republic of Belarus, as well as the issues of defending human rights defenders and ensuring their professional activities.

For additional information, please, contact:

Kyiv Information Center
of the Committee on International Control
over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus

kyiv.info@hrwatch-by.org
+380 67 40 426 46

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