Tag - protesters ( 2 )

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 →

News | UN human rights experts urge Kazakhstan to halt clampdown on land reform protesters

May 12 2016

GENEVA –  United Nations human rights experts, including Maina Kiai, today called on the Government of Kazakhstan to protect the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression after mass arrests, detention and criminal prosecutions following demonstrations over proposed land reforms across the country. Peaceful protests took place last week in six Kazakh cities in response to amendments adopted on the land law governing the rights of foreigners to rent agricultural land in the country. Protesters contend that the changes, which include an increase of such leases from 10 to 25 years, could facilitate the sale of land to the detriment of Kazakh citizens and landowners. “Arrests, detention and criminal prosecutions are being used to deter and punish those protesting and expressing their voices against the land law,” the UN experts noted. “The Government must immediately end all forms of persecution and take effective measures to protect civil society.” The UN experts were alarmed by criminal cases brought against some protestors and human rights defenders for exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. The criminal charges being used to target protestors and human rights defenders, include the ‘kindling of social discord’ under... Continue reading →