International human rights observers are being deported from Belarus
Today, March 9th, 2011 at 3:20 am, while crossing the border by train Kiev - Minsk, the assistant to the Representative of the International Observation Mission of the Committee on International Control over the Situation with Human Rights in Belarus, member of the “Foundation for Regional Initiatives” (organization – participant of the Committee), citizen of the Ukraine Maxim Kitsyuk was denied entry to the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
Previously, Maxim Kitsyuk repeatedly visited Belarus as an assistant to the Representative of the International Observation Mission to monitor the situation with human rights in Belarus.
According to officer of the Gomel border patrol, who was contacted by telephone, the reason for refusal was the fact that the entry to Belarus is denied for Maxim. According to the information from the same source, Maxim was sent back to Ukraine at 9:10 am by train St. Petersburg – Kiev.
At the moment there is a contact with Maxim, he said he was removed from the train by Belarusian border guards: during the document check it turned out that his name is listed in the database of the Border Service with a sign “Entry denied”. After the border guards sent a request to Minsk, the status “Entry denied” was confirmed. However, none of border officials could explain, what was the reason to include his name into the list.
Maxim spent the night in a cell, in which there was just “a stool screwed to the floor”. Kitsyuk didn’t have an opportunity to report about his position, because border guard officers confiscated his mobile phone and did not respond to requests about the need to inform the Embassy of the Ukraine in Belarus about the status of the citizen of the Ukraine. He underwent personal inspection and examination of his things. In the morning he was sent by train to the Ukraine to the station Gornostaevka, with a stamp “deported” on the ticket.
The International Observation Mission notes that Maxim Kitsyuk went to Minsk to carry out human rights activities aimed at monitoring the compliance of Belarus with its major international obligations in the field of fundamental human rights and freedoms. At the same time, Belarus, as one of the OSCE member states, should facilitate monitoring of the compliance with these obligations, including monitoring by human rights organizations.
The Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus was established by a coalition of non-governmental organizations from the OSCE region on December 27th, 2010.
The Committee engages in monitoring and control over the observation of fundamental human rights, conditions of human rights defenders and human rights organizations in the country. The Committee also makes recommendations for the national authorities and supranational authorities on normalization of the situation in the country and bringing it to conformity with the national legislation and international obligations undertaken by the Belarusian government.
For the work on the territory of the Republic of Belarus the Committee formed the long-term International Observation Mission, composed of representatives of the human rights organizations from the OSCE area, members of international organizations and independent experts. The Mission doesn’t provide evaluation of the results of the presidential elections and electoral process.