Tag - Belarus ( 5 )

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Issue 26) – February-March 2017

Mar 15 2017

Issue No. 26 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • Kiai visits Geneva for final Human Rights Council session as Rapporteur • UN rights expert: ‘Fundamental right to strike must be preserved’ • Bangladesh: stop enforced disappearances • 10 Principles civil society guide: Advocate for better management of assemblies • Letter from the Rapporteur: Our fight isn’t just about closing space; it’s a ‘struggle for future of democracy’ • Maina Kiai releases annual report: 2016 in assembly & association rights • Experts urge Kenya to end crackdown on rights groups to ensure fair elections • Viet Nam: end detention of ‘Mother Mushroom’ • Burundi: UN experts raise alarm at growing repression of NGOs and human rights defenders • UN expert concerned about recurring violence against demonstrators in Belarus • Assembly & association rights: By the numbers • Special Rapporteur news in brief: February – March 2017 • World briefing: Assembly & association rights in the news For a link to the newsletter, click on the image at right or click here (1.7 MB file). To subscribe to our... Continue reading →

News | UN Special Rapporteur concerned about recurring violence against demonstrators in Belarus

Mar 14 2017

GENEVA – Belarus is being urged by a UN human rights expert to stop acts of violence and harassment against demonstrators and to respect freedom of peaceful assembly. The appeal comes from the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, and follows reports of mass arrests and intimidation of activists protesting against the presidential decree “On the Prevention of Social Dependence”, also referred to as the “anti-parasitism” law. The order by President Lukashenko allows fines to be imposed on anyone who does not work more than 183 days and is not declared officially unemployed. As implementation began last month, thousands of Belarusians have taken to the streets in protest. Mr. Haraszti described the decree as “an arbitrary and cruel measure”, estimated to affect more than 470,000 Belarusians. “These people are not only singled out and stamped as ‘society’s parasites’, but they are subjected to substantial fines amounting to the equivalent of USD250, or about two thirds of the average monthly wage in Belarus.” Following demonstrations held for several weeks in many parts of the country, the President has reportedly suspended the collection of the fines for this year. However, he also stressed that he does not rescind the decree. Additionally, he has... Continue reading →

Report | Belarus communications: May 1, 2011 to February 28, 2016

Feb 28 2016

This page summarizes cases raised with Belarus by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2016 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from Belarus. Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared. Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) - the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available). Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of Belarus, English). First Report (May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012) Joint allegation letter, 30/05/2011. Case no. BLR 6/2011. State Reply: 10/06/2011. Alleged arrest and arbitrary detention of human rights defenders. Joint allegation letter, 01/06/2011. Case no. BLR 7/2011. State Reply: 10/06/2011. Alleged arrests, arbitrary detentions and sentencing of human rights defenders following the... Continue reading →

News | OSCE civil society: ‘Political will’ a major obstacle in protecting right to funding

May 12 2014

(WARSAW, Poland) – Political will is a major obstacle in ensuring civil society’s access to resources in many OSCE countries, according to participants in a May 7 regional dialogue organized in Warsaw by the Community of Democracies and the team of UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai. “It’s not a question of convincing through enough human rights laws or standards,” said one participant. Sometimes “they can’t be convinced.” The dialogue was the first event in a new two-year project focused on enhancing space for civil society and strengthening the right to access financial resources. The project was launched in February, and is being funded by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The May 7 Warsaw event looked at international human rights norms, standards and mechanisms to promote the right to freedom of association – and possible ways to strengthen these tools. More than 20 members of civil society from throughout the OSCE region participated. The focus on political will was central to the discussions, with one participant saying that talking about human rights norms to the government in his country was like “talking to the wall.” As a result, the road to ensuring civil society’s access to resources will require creative schemes and new ways of thinking, participants said –... Continue reading →

News | Belarus: “New legislative amendments unduly restrict fundamental rights,” warn UN experts

Nov 24 2011

Three United Nations independent experts warned that the new legislative amendments recently adopted by the National Assembly of Belarus may severely and arbitrarily restrict the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and expression, and breach international law. “These amendments could constitute a direct affront to the exercise of fundamental civil and political rights which are at the core of any democratic society, such as the rights to assembly and to associate freely,” said the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Mr. Maina Kiai. Mr. Kiai recalled that the National Assembly of Belarus introduced changes to the Laws on Public Associations, Political Parties, Public Gatherings and Administrative Violations, as well as the Criminal and the Election Codes, “in a legislative process that lacked proper consultation with civil society.” According to the new legislation, organizing assemblies without the prior and explicit consent of the incumbent authorities is now considered a criminal offense, and new reporting liabilities are imposed on organisers concerning the financial resources used for such assemblies. Disseminating information, including through the social media, without any permission for assembly is also strictly... Continue reading →