Human rights defenders call on government to take urgent restorative measures

Belarusian human rights defenders called to the authorities to take a number of measures that do not require legislative changes, but can significantly contribute to the improvement of human rights protection.

OPEN LETTER

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 bring 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

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