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  • Human Rights Defenders Appeal to Close the Case of Aliaksandr Alesin

    In a joint address to the authorities on December 9, Belarusian human rights defenders call on the government to close down politically motivated cases, among them the case of the observer Aliaksandr Alesin, and to stop persecution of journalists of Belsat TV and Radio Racyja.

    Ali­ak­san­dr Alesin

    Ali­ak­san­dr Alesin, jour­nal­ist of Belorusy I Rynok, mil­i­tary affairs ana­lyst, was detained on Novem­ber 25, 2014. Infor­ma­tion about the deten­tion and the place of deten­tion became known to the pub­lic only at the begin­ning of Decem­ber.

    On Decem­ber 8, his rel­a­tives announced that he had been accused of trea­son (arti­cle 356 of the Crim­i­nal Code) and coop­er­a­tion with spe­cial ser­vices or inves­tiga­tive bod­ies of anoth­er state (arti­cle 356.1). It was also report­ed that he was not the main sus­pect, the main per­son under con­sid­er­a­tion was a for­eign diplo­mat. On Decem­ber 10, the jour­nal­ist was released under recog­ni­zance not to leave the coun­try. He said that the charges of trea­son had been dropped; he has been charged only with coop­er­a­tion with for­eign spe­cial ser­vices.


    We, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the human rights orga­ni­za­tions in Belarus, guid­ed by an inter­est in the devel­op­ment of the Belarus-EU rela­tions and the pro­mo­tion and pro­tec­tion of human rights in the coun­try,

    call on the gov­ern­ment to enforce in the near future the fol­low­ing mea­sures of restora­tive nature, which do not require leg­isla­tive changes:

    1. close the polit­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed crim­i­nal cas­es against jour­nal­ist Ali­ak­san­dr Alesin, graf­fi­ti artists Mak­sim Piakars­ki, Vadz­im Zharom­s­ki, Viachaslau Kasin­er­au and Yaraslau Uliya­nenkau, politi­cian Ales Mikhale­vich, as well as to review IN A PUBLIC TRIAL the crim­i­nal case of Mikhail Zham­chuzh­ny (founder of the human rights orga­ni­za­tion Plat­form Inno­va­tion); remove con­vic­tions in order to restore the civ­il and polit­i­cal rights of for­mer polit­i­cal pris­on­ers.
    2. remove a ban on entry into the coun­try ear­li­er imposed on Belaru­sian human rights activist Ale­na Tanka­cho­va, and to ensure safe con­di­tions for the return of per­sons who were forced to leave the coun­try due to polit­i­cal per­se­cu­tion.
    3. reg­is­ter the Human Rights Cen­ter “Vias­na” and oth­er non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions who choose to apply for reg­is­tra­tion.
    4. put an end to the per­se­cu­tion of jour­nal­ists of the Bel­sat TV chan­nel and Radio Racy­ja, as well as oth­er jour­nal­ists work­ing for for­eign media, and refrain from inter­fer­ing with their pro­fes­sion­al activ­i­ty in the coun­try.
    5. intro­duce a mora­to­ri­um on exe­cu­tions.

    In order to improve the sit­u­a­tion of human rights, it is nec­es­sary to enforce the fol­low­ing mea­sures at the leg­isla­tive lev­el:

    - repeal Arti­cle 193.1 of the Crim­i­nal Code, as well as a ban on the activ­i­ty on behalf of unreg­is­tered orga­ni­za­tions;

    - launch sys­tem­at­ic work with a view to bring­ing the leg­is­la­tion of Belarus in the sphere of human rights in line with inter­na­tion­al stan­dards.

    We con­sid­er it impor­tant to estab­lish a dia­logue in this area between the gov­ern­ment and the country’s human rights orga­ni­za­tions, and to devel­op a Nation­al Plan of Human Rights and Civ­il Soci­ety, in close coop­er­a­tion between the state and the civ­il soci­ety of Belarus.

    Ales Biali­ats­ki, chair­man of the Human Rights Cen­ter “Vias­na”

    Aleh Hulak, chair­man of the Belaru­sian Helsin­ki Com­mit­tee

    Andrei Bas­tunets, chair­man of the Belaru­sian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists

    Ale­na Tanka­cho­va, chair of the Board of the Cen­ter for Legal Trans­for­ma­tion

    Raisa Mikhailouskaya, chair of the Belaru­sian Doc­u­men­ta­tion Cen­ter

    Inna Kulei, chair of the Com­mit­tee of Assis­tance to the Repressed “Sal­i­dar­nasts”

    Tat­siana Revi­a­ka, Pres­i­dent of the Barys Zvozskau Belaru­sian Human Rights House


    Relat­ed sto­ries:

    After Hasty Deten­tion and Release, Jour­nal­ist Still Goes to Ques­tion­ings

    Human rights orga­ni­za­tions of Belarus rec­og­nize Mikhail Zham­chuzh­ny polit­i­cal pris­on­er

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