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December 31, 2011

Belarus: Havel vs Lukashenko

One of the last acts of Vaclav Havel was signature of the statement calling for free speech in Belarus. He signed the document along with Ai Weiwei. “Prison taught them both of the evils of totalitarianism”, said Irina Bogdanova, sister of political prisoner Andrei Sannikov, sentenced to five years hard labour for “organizing a mass disturbance” after last year’s Presidential elections. “Confronting evil means taking action”, she says.

December 29, 2011

Impunity syndrome in the Caucasus

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) has worked closely with Georgian and international human rights groups in order to document crimes committed during and after the 2008 war between the Russian Federation and Georgia, and monitor domestic investigations of these crimes. Three Georgian human rights groups have contributed with information to this report, namely Article 42 of the Constitution, the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) and The Georgian Human Rights centre (HRC). However, responsibility for the analyses and conclusions rests with the NHC

December 28, 2011

Diversion and Mediation Program – Alternative of the Criminal Liability

Juvenile diversion and mediation program was launched in November, 2010 in the framework of justice reform. The Program aims to completely discharge juvenile offenders from criminal liability to launch a criminal case against them or to drop the already launched proceeding. Nowadays diversion and mediation program is being implemented in six cities of Georgia and 74 juveniles have been diverted so far.

December 27, 2011

Bialiatski learned about his father’s death on the funeral day

On 24 December, at the age of 84, died Viktar Bialiatski, father of convicted human rights defender Ales Bialiatski. Before that, Ales’ wife Natallia Pinchuk has made every effort to get the permission for the meeting of the son and the father. However, Bialiatski did not manage to meet his father, nor was he allowed to attend the funeral. Later he was convoyed to Minsk morgue for parting with his father.

December 26, 2011

Social Media and “New Media” development in Georgia

The importance of New Media has been discussed in Georgia during last few years. The advantage of new media is mainly in its democratic essence – users are the part of it as they participate in creating media product by themselves. According to experts, new media is still under development in Georgia and has less readers than traditional one, however, time by time it is becoming an alternative source of information.

December 26, 2011

Пра смерць бацькі Бяляцкі даведаўся ў дзень пахавання

24 снежня на 84 годзе жыцця памёр Бяляцкі Віктар Усцінавіч, бацька асуджанага праваабаронцы Алеся Бяляцкага. Перад гэтым жонка Алеся Наталля Пінчук прыклала ўсе намаганні для таго, каб сустрэча сына і хворага бацькі была дазволеная. Аднак сустрэцца з бацькам Бяляцкі так і не паспеў.Спачатку праваабаронцу не дазволілі прысутнічаць і на пахаванні, але потым пад канвоем прывезлі развітацца.

December 26, 2011

Youth for a safe, just and human world – Belarus

Around 150 young people from Belarus and from the Norwegian youth organisation, Fantasiforbundet, joined the forum”Youth for a safe, just and human world” in Belarus from 3 to 4 December 2011

December 25, 2011

Ethiopia: two Swedish journalists convicted under anti-terrorism law (updated)

The prolonged series of arrests and prosecutions indicates systematic use of the anti-terrorism law by the Ethiopian government to silence opposition politicians and the independent media. This week’s conviction of two Swedish journalists by an Ethiopian court on charges of supporting terrorism is emblematic.

December 25, 2011

Impunity for torture in Nakhchivan

The torture murder by the security agents in Nakhchivan, an Azerbaijani enclave, remains unsolved, even though the family members of the murdered Turac Zeynalov presented video footages confirming the tortures.