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Open call for applications for the position of Representative on the situation of the media and freedom of expression

ANNOUNCEMENT FOR POSITION OPENING

of the Representative on the situation of the media and freedom of expression

of the International Observation Mission
of the Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus


The International Observation Mission (further on – Mission) announced an open call for applications for the position of Representative on the situation of the media and freedom of expression.

Representative on the situation of the media and freedom of expression of the International Observation Mission is a public voluntary mandate (with the possibility of compensation of expenses to move within the region and to visit the meetings of intergovernmental organizations). This mandate includes the examination of issues related to security of journalists and other actors which conduct gathering and distribution of information on issues of public concern on a regular basis (i.e. citizen journalists, bloggers, media activists), ensuring their obstacle-free work in the Republic of Belarus, as well as institutional aspects of freedom of expression, in particular, legal and administrative restrictions on functioning of the channels for disseminating information (traditional mass media and “new media”, including the Internet and its services).

General requirements:
According to the decision of the Board of the Mission (the governing body of the Mission) the following general requirements are applicable to candidates for the position of the Representative of the Mission:
(a) good knowledge of the situation in Belarus and the region of Newly Independent States (NIS) / work experience in the Republic of Belarus or beyond on the Belarus issues;
(b) work experience in the field of defence and promotion of freedom of the media and freedom of expression;
(c) political impartiality – Representative’s mandate cannot be used for expression and promotion of interests of any political structures;
(d) legal integrity;
(e) fluency in Russian language and good command of English language, knowledge of Belarusian language desirable;
(f) multiple entry visa or possibility of visa-free entry to the territory of Russia and Ukraine, desirably also to the territory of Belarus.

It is supposed that the Representative of the Mission on the situation of the media and freedom of expression will:
1) establish relevant connections with non-governmental organisations working in Belarus in the field of freedom of the media, protection of journalists and freedom of expression (including on the Internet);
2) involve experts on the topic in his work and creates the relevant expert group;
3) establish contacts with relevant international institutions active in the field of the freedom of the media, protection of journalists and freedom of expression within the UN, OSCE and the Council of Europe framework;
4) manage the monitoring group on the relevant topic within the Mission;
5) formulate recommendations for the authorities of the Republic of Belarus, international intergovernmental organisations and institutions, as well as for other stakeholders on the issues of freedom of the media, protection of journalists and freedom of expression (including on the Internet);
6) represent the Mission in public space on the issues of freedom of the media, protection of journalists and freedom of expression;
7) implement the necessary civic actions for the promotion of recommendations, including organising the required events on behalf of the Mission.

Who can nominate candidates?
(a) international non-governmental organizations, their branches and filials working on the field of human rights and freedom of the media;
(b) regional NGOs working in the field of human rights and freedom of the media;
(c) intergovernmental and national structures having the promotion of human rights and freedom of the media among their goals (i.e. councils, platforms, associations);
(d) individual nominations are admissible.

Procedure of selection:
- CV (in any format), motivation letter relevant for the position and recommendation of a nominating organization have to be sent to mission@hrwatch-by.org until October 4, 2013.
- Short list of candidates is compiled as a result of discussion within the Board of the Mission.
- Representative on the situation of freedom of the media will be approved by the Head of Mission after consulting with the Steering Council of the Committee on International Control.
- The result of the selection will be announced not later than on October 10, 2013.

Additional information: The International Observation Mission was established on December 27, 2010 by the Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus, a coalition of 50 human rights organizations from the OSCE area and international civil society networks and organisations. Created immediately in the aftermath of the events on December 19, 2010, the Mission provided physical presence during searches and trials, published the first documents on the pressure towards human rights defenders, journalists and lawyers, and analysed violations during court proceedings that followed. Until now the Mission continues to bring together the efforts of human rights defenders and activists from different countries on monitoring the situation of human rights and developing recommendations and proposals for its improvement. The Mission bases its work on the principle that human rights are the subject of direct and legitimate concern of the international civil society and appeals to the authorities of Belarus to fulfil their international commitments in the field of human rights, and to other OSCE participating states – to control the observance of these commitments according to the OSCE principles.

More information: http://hrwatch-by.org
e-mail: mission@hrwatch-by.org
Twitter: http://twitter.com/IOMission

News of Belarus

Tough sentences announced to Brest antifascists

A verdict was delivered today in the case of Brest antifascists acused of participation in a group fight with neonazis which happened on May 8, 2013.

Antifascists were tried under the art. 339.3 (malicious group hooliganism) and 147.2 (malicious bodily harm). The case was qualified as malicious due to the fact of pepper spray usage in the fight.

Dzmitry Stsyashenka got 5 years of penal colony with reinforced regime (339.3) and 500 euro of damages to be paid to the injured nazis.

Exclusive: European Union moves to suspend sanctions on Belarus

The European Union is likely to lift some sanctions on Belarus, including its travel ban on President Alexander Lukashenko, after he freed a group of political prisoners last month, diplomatic sources say.

An arms embargo against the former Soviet republic would remain. But in an overture to the man the West calls Europe's "last dictator", diplomats are looking at suspending visa bans and asset freezes on most of around 200 people under sanctions for rights abuses, some since disputed elections in 2004.