Norway: release political prisoners in Belarus!
15 Norwegian organisations and political parties in Oslo appealed to the Norwegian authorities to increase their pressure on Republic of Belarus and demand release of all arested after the preisdential elections on 19 December. Around 35-40 persons in front of the Norwegian Parliament demonstrated in support of human rights defenders and political prisoners in the Republic of Belarus.
Monday, 17 January 2011, by HRH Oslo, Bergen
After the presidential elections on 19 December 2010 the Belarusian authorities arrested more than 600 people who protested against the outcome of falsed results. 25 people were jailed for allegedly organizing riots. They risk receiving from 5 to 15 years in prison. Meanwhile the government continues to pursue human rights defenders, journalists and opposition politicians across the country.
Release political prisoners!
On 16 January Norwegian human rights defenders and politicians in a solidarity action demanded from the Norwegian authorities to put more pressure on Belarusian government to ensure that:
– all political prisoners are released;
– all prisoners have access to legal and medical assistance;
– the right security is maintained for those who stand trial;
– the repressions against the human rights defenders, lawyers, students, journalists, writers and political activists will not continue.
During the action representatives from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights House Foundation gave information about the number of detainees, and the ongoing raids in Belarus.
The participants held photos of arrested persons and banners with slogans “Free Belarus”, “Release political prisoners”, “Solidarity16”, “Protect the journalist and the freedom of expression in Belarus”.
Background of action
Such actions in Belarus started on 16 October 2005 and the day was called the Day of Solidarity with Belarus. The dates for actions are not randomly chosen: on 16 September 1999 disappeared former deputy speaker of the Belarusian Parliament Viktor Gonchar and his friend Anatoly Krasovsky.
Berit Lindeman from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and Ane Tusvik Bonde from Human Rights House Foundation
Four dissidents disappeared in Belarus since 1999, and there are indications that the authorities at high level have been involved. Disappearances have become a clear symbol of the repressive regime in Belarus.
Today, one month after the presidential elections in Belarus homes and offices of human rights activists, journalists and opposition politicians are raided. Find out more information here.
The action was supported by:
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee
Human Rights House Foundation
Amnesty International Norway
Norwegian Authors' Union
Norwegian Journalist Union
Countryside Council for Norwegian Children and Youth Council (LNU)
Nature and Youth
Norwegian Young Christian Democrats
Norwegian human rights orgniasations actively participate in solidarity actions and demonstrations in support of freedom of expression, human rights and democracy.
The last torchlight procession took place on streets of Oslo in support of imprisoned Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo on 10 December 2010.
Eight Norwegian nongovernmental human rights organisations, including Amnesty International Norway, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and Human Rights House Foundation, showed their support to a pro-democracy civil Russian movement “Strategy 31“ by organising a demonstration in Oslo on 31 October 2010.
On 27 April 2010 Norwegian NGOs staged a silent protest in Oslo during Russia's president's Medvedev visit to the country. The demonstration helped draw public attention even further in the direction of the many grave human rights concerns in the Russian Federation.
HRH Oslo, Bergen