Analytical review No. 1-1b “Interference in the Work of Human Rights Organizations and Initiatives in Belarus from January 12th to March 8th, 2011”

The International Observation Mission has prepared an analytical review about the situation with human rights defenders and human rights organizations in the Republic of Belarus from January, 12 to March, 8, 2011.

This analytical review is a sequel to the work presented in the Analytical review №1-1 “Interference in the work of Human Rights organizations and initiatives in Belarus December 2010 – January 2011”, published earlier.

In this document the International Observation Mission of the Committee for international control over the situation with Human Rights in the Republic of Belarus presents analysis of the situation and a systematized selection of facts of intervention into activities of Human Rights organizations in the Republic of Belarus for the period from January, 12th to March, 8th, 2011, which was made taking account of the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders") and terms of the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders - "Ensuring the protection”. The materials of the review were collected from open sources, reports from human rights defenders and human rights organizations in Belarus, and also based on information given by the Centre for legal transformation, first of all.

In spite that the number of incidents of pressure on human rights organizations has decreased in comparison with the first observation period, actions of authorities in relation to human rights defenders are, as before, characterized as threatening personal security of human rights defenders and inhibiting work of human rights organizations.

Warning notices to human rights organizations and their heads can be considered as new threats to the civil society, which can lead to closing of registered organizations (incident with the Belarusian Helsinki Committee), and as well to criminal prosecutions against activists (incident with Andrei Belyatski). It can be said that such actions of the officials of the Republic of Belarus indicate their unwillingness to follow the numerous recommendations to matching the national legislation in correspondence with international standards of freedom of associations.

It is important to note that there is the great attention of the international society to the situation with the pressure upon human rights defenders and interference in implementation of their activities in the Republic of Belarus.

Thus it is obvious that it is well worth for the international society and intergovernmental institutions to reconsider their approach towards the policy of constructing interrelations with the civil society of Belarus and jointly work out a new work strategy.

Because the situation, as a matter of fact, has changed just slightly, the general recommendations of the International Observation Mission, aimed at improvement and stabilization of the situation with assurance of freedom for activities of human rights organizations in the Republic of Belarus, remain urgent.

The full text of the analytical review

News of Belarus

Human rights defender Tatsiana Reviaka questioned by KGB

Mrs. Tatsiana Reviaka, member of the Human Rights Center Viasna’s Council, has been summoned for “conversation” to the KGB central office, after she received an official writ, saying that she should be questioned “as a person being aware of circumstances that have significance for maintaining the national security of the Republic of Belarus.”

Tatsiana Reviaka visited the KGB office, accompanied by her lawyer.

Ales Bialiatski: “I am a persistent violator!”

Back in the middle of June the imprisoned head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Ales Bialiatski wrote in his letter to Valiantsin Stefanovich: “It seems to me that the reprimands I have received are not the last ones”. The new information from Babruisk, where Ales is currently kept, confirms these words. Thus, in his letter to Valiantsin Stefanovich of 5 August he writes about more reprimands, issued to him by the administration of penal colony #2.

Ukrainian civic activists express their disquiet about the visit of President of Belarus to Kyiv

Open appeal to the heads of states, diplomats and representatives of the international organizations:

Ukrainian human rights defenders, civic activists and concerned citizens express their disquiet about the planned visit of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko to Kyiv on July 1st 2012.