Presentation of the report on the events of 19 December 2010 in Minsk

On the 4th of May the presentation of the report of the Special Rapporteur of the Committee on International Control over the Situation with Human Rights in Belarus “Interim Human Rights Assessment of the Events of 19 December 2010 in Minsk, Belarus” will take place.

This document will become the first independent human rights assessment of the action on 19 December prepared by international experts. These events are evaluated in the report in terms of domestic legislation of the Republic of Belarus, as well as compliance of the law enforcement in the sphere of freedom of assembly in Belarus to international human rights standards.

The Special Rapporteur is to answer the following questions related to the mass rally on 19 December and the events surrounding it:
Can the assembly of 19 December be considered as peaceful in terms of international standards?
Were there any mass riots or individual acts of hooliganism?
Was the use of force by law enforcement proportionate and justified?
Was the subsequent reaction of the state in the form of administrative and criminal prosecution of the protesters justified from the point of law?

It is not the task of the Special Rapporteur to evaluate the results of the presidential elections or the electoral process.

The Special Rapporteur was designated by the Committee on International Control over the Situation with Human Rights in Belarus to investigate the events related to the opposition protests on 19 December 2010 in Minsk. His task is an objective unbiased assessment of the opposition protests at the Independence Square, and the detentions and arrests which followed them and which caused different reactions in Belarus and within the international community. Special Rapporteur bases his work on video records, statements by observers, witnesses and officials, media materials and public materials of criminal cases.

Neil Jarman, an independent international expert, director of the Institute for Conflict Research (Northern Ireland) and chairman of the OSCE/ODIHR Panel of experts on freedom of assembly, was appointed the Special Rapporteur. He is assisted by a group of experts on freedom of assembly and police response measures from the OSCE countries, which includes Michael Hamilton (head of group, professor of the Central European University, Budapest), Yuri Dzhibladze (Russia), Sergey Dikman (Russia), Volodymir Chemeris (Ukraine).

The presentation will take place in the office of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” (Independence av., 78a-48) on the 4th of May (Wednesday) at 19.00.

The following people will take part:
Neil Jarman, the Special Rapporteur on the events of 19 December (via video conference);

Yuri Dzhibladze, representative of the Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus, President of the Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights (Russia), member of the Presidential Council on Civil Society Development and Human Rights;

Volodymir Chemeris, member of the Special Rapporter’s experts group, member of the Board of the Institute of Economic and Social Problems “Respublica” (Ukraine), developer of the draft law of the Ukraine “On the freedom of peaceful assembly”.

The text of the report

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