Open call for applications for the position of Representative for the situation of human rights defenders.

ANNOUNCEMENT for the Position Opening
of Representative on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders
of the International Observation Mission
of the Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus

The International Observation Mission announced an open call for applications for the position of Representative on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders.

Representative on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders of the International Observation Mission is a public unpaid mandate (with possible compensation of travel expenses over the region).

General requirements:
The following general requirements are applicable for the candidates:
(a) good knowledge of the situation in Belarus and in the Newly Independent States (NIS) / work experience in the Republic of Belarus or outside of Belarus on Belarus issues;
(b) work experience in the field of defence and promotion of human rights as a whole and in particular in the sphere of protection of human rights defenders;
(c) political impartiality – the mandate of the Representative 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 Belarus language desirable;
(f) multiple entry visa or possibility to enter the territory of Russia and Ukraine, desirably such as to the territory of Belarus.

The Representative of the Mission on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders is assumed:
1) to establish relevant connections with non-governmental organisations working in Belarus in the field of human rights and with international non-governmental organisation dealing with the issues of protection of human rights defenders;
2) to involve in his or her work experts on the topic and to create a relevant expert group;
3) to establish contacts with relevant international institutions working in the field of protection of human rights defenders in the framework of the UN, OSCE and the Council of Europe;
4) to manage the monitoring working group on the relevant topic in the framework of the Mission;
5) to formulate recommendations for the authorities of the Republic of Belarus, for international non-governmental organisations and institutions, as well as for other actors in the protection and support of human rights defenders and human rights organisations;
6) to represent the Mission in the public space in the field of protection of human rights defenders;
7) to promote recommendations, implement necessary actions, including organization of events in the name of the Mission.     

Who can nominate candidates?
(a) international non-governmental organizations, their branches and subsidiaries working in the field of human rights;
(b) regional NGOs working in the field of human rights;
(c) intergovernmental and national structures, that have an aim of promoting human rights (i.e. councils, platforms, associations, etc);
(d) individual nominations are admissible

Procedure of selection:
- CV (in a free format), motivation letter and recommendation of the nominating organization have to be send to mission@hrwatch-by.org till 27th of July, 2013.
- The shortlist of candidates is formed by the Mission collegial body.
- Representative on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders will be confirmed by the Head of Mission after consulting with Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Bealrus.
- The result of the selection will be announced on 4th of August.

Additional information: International Observation Mission operates from December 27, 2010 on behalf of the Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus, a coalition of more than 50 human rights organizations from the OSCE-space and international civic networks and organizations. Established immediately after the events on December 19, 2010, the Mission provided a direct presence on the searches and the courts, has released the first documents about the pressure on human rights defenders, journalists and lawyers, analyze violations of subsequent trials. Until now, the Mission continues to unite the efforts of human rights defenders and activists from different countries to monitor the human rights situation and to develop recommendations and suggestions to improve it. In its work the Mission comes from the fact that human rights are the subject of direct and legitimate concern of the international civil society, and calls on the Belarusian authorities to follow the undertaken international obligations in the sphere of human rights, and it calls the OSCE participating States, following the principles of the OSCE, to monitor the implementation of these commitments.

Details: http://hrwatch-by.org/en
e-mail: mission@hrwatch-by.org
twitter: http://twitter.com/IOMission

News of Belarus

Belarus prisoner release: Same old trick

Good news from Belarus is rare, but last weekend president Alexander Lukashenko pardoned six political prisoners.

For the pardoned, all serving multi-year prison terms for challenging Belarus’ autocracy, this is, to say the least, a relief, and has been welcomed by local democrats and the international community.

Lukashenko has declared his decision an act of “humanity”. But is, in fact, a carefully timed tactical move to sway the European Union at a time of growing domestic and geopolitical pressure.

The question is whether he will succeed this time.

The International Day of Solidarity with Belarus 2015

Seven countries around the world celebrated the International Day of Solidarity with Belarus on August the 4th. Human and civil rights activists, as well as other people who are simply sympathetic with the citizens of Belarus and who share deep concern about their future, took part in online discussions, talked to people on the streets and posted various material in social media in order to raise awareness of countless violations of human rights in Belarus.

Solidarity with civil society in Belarus

4 August is an international day of solidarity with the civil society of Belarus. This day matters, because of the daily pressure against civil society in Belarus.

When a coalition of international civil society organisations, at the initiative of the International Youth Human Rights Movement of Voronezh (Russian Federation), launched the idea of an international solidarity day with civil society in Belarus, the country was coming out of the 2010 presidential election cycle, which symbolically ended with the arrest of the country’s leading human rights defender Ales Bialiatski.

The 4 August is key to Belarus, because of Ales Bialiatski’s arrest on this day in 2011. The day is now a symbol of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s repeated practice of arbitrary arrest of voices criticising his way of governing the country.