Statement No.11 “On the situation with dismissal of the ambassadors of the European Union states from the Republic of Belarus”

Acting on behalf of the Committee on International Control over the Situation with Human Rights in Belarus (CIC), which brings together representatives of national and international civil society organizations and networks from the OSCE countries;
monitoring the overall situation with the observance of fundamental human rights in the Republic of Belarus, including issues of the freedom of association and compliance with the conditions for the unhindered activities of human rights defenders;
emphasizing that human rights are subject of direct and legitimate concern of international civil society;
urging the Belarusian authorities to follow the undertaken international obligations on human rights;

The International Observation Mission expresses its profound concern at the situation which has occurred in Belarus when the Head of the European Union Delegation and Ambassador of the Republic of Poland were requested by the Belarusian authorities to leave the country and, in response, the rest of the EU member states in a gesture of solidarity recalled their top diplomats. It is obvious that these events will weaken international presence in the country and lessen the opportunities of exercising international control over the observe by Belarus of its commitments in the field of human dimension, and this may further deteriorate the situation with human rights and the rule of law.

The International Observation Mission:
1. Once again strongly emphasizes that the Belarusian authorities still do not fulfill the recommendations by international institutions on human rights and the rule of law, particularly those contained in the OSCE Moscow mechanism report;
2. Appeals to all the OSCE participating states to use all the existing opportunities in order to make the Belarusian authorities return to the observance of previously undertaken international commitments in the field of human dimension and respect for OSCE standards and mechanisms, moreover to resume the work of the OSCE office in Belarus and extend its mandate, as well as the mandates of existing representations of other intergovernmental organizations (UN and the Council of Europe);
3. Considers it essential to intensify at this moment the control over human rights observance in the country by the embassies of other states that are operating in Belarus, above all those participating in the OSCE, which, according to the Helsinki Final Act, undertook an obligation to exercise international observation of the situation in the field of human rights;
4. Requests all non-governmental organizations in the OSCE region to render the maximum support possible to the Belarusian civil society and local human rights defenders, as well as to international organizations making efforts for promoting and defending human rights in Belarus, moreover to increase their own presence in the country.

February 29th, 2012
Head of the Mission
Andrey Yurov

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.