Belarus: Tatsiana Lasitsa released
On 24 September, Viasna volunteer Tatsiana Lasitsa was released in Belarus after serving one year and eight months of a two-and-a-half-year sentence. While we welcome this news, we highlight that Lasitsa not have been in prison in the first place – the case against her was a reprisal for her legitimate human rights work. We repeat our call for the release of her Viasna colleagues and for the release of all political prisoners in Belarus.
HRC49: Open letter to states on the draft resolution on Human Rights Defenders
Human Rights House Foundation joins several international human rights organisations in a joint letter urging Human Rights Council member states to ensure a strong resolution on human rights defenders at the Council’s 49th session.
Letters from Lukashenka’s Prisoners: Volha Harbunova
Volha Harbunova is a Belarusian woman human rights defender, psychologist, and former head of the non-governmental organisation Radislava, which offers support to women who face domestic and gender-based violence. Harbunova was arrested on 9 November 2021 on suspicion of organising all-women marches in 2020.
Letters from Lukashenka’s Prisoners: Anastasya Mirontsava
Anastasya Mirontsava is a 25-year-old student and artist. She has been behind bars since 16 October 2020, when she was detained for having participated in the protests on the day of the presidential election, 10 August 2020. At her trial on 31 March 2021, she implored the court not to deprive her of her freedom any longer.
Letters from Lukashenka’s Prisoners: Maria Kalenik
Maria Kalenik is a 23-year-old student of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts. She was detained on 12 November 2020, accused of organising and participating in group actions that gravely violate public order. Her apartment was searched, and she was held in the KGB pre-trial prison. On 16 July 2021, she was sentenced to two years and six months in prison in a case known as “the student case”, which involved 12 defendants. Ksenia Syramalot, whose letter was previously published, was one of her co-defendants in the case.
Risking everything for truth in Russia
On the morning of 7 October 2021, 15 years after Anna Politkovskaya was shot in the elevator in her apartment building where she lived in Moscow, a colleague and I laid flowers on the corner of Drammensveien in Oslo, where the Russian embassy is located.
Georgian authorities must protect and promote the Freedoms of Expression and Assembly
Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) and Human Rights House Tbilisi (HRHT) call on the Georgian authorities to act to protect and promote the Freedoms of Expression and Assembly in Georgia and engage substantively with human rights defenders, including Elene Khoshtaria, exercising these rights.
Civil society participation at the UN Human Rights Council cannot be an afterthought
HRHF joins dozens of organisations in a joint letter addressed to the President of the UN Human Rights Council, Ambassador of Austria to the UN in Geneva, Director-General of the United Nations at Geneva, and all Members and Observers of the UN Human Rights Council.
Letters from Lukashenka’s Prisoners: Hanna Vishniak
Hanna Vishniak is a volunteer with Telegram channel “Drivers-97”. The channel, which has 5,000 subscribers, was initially set up to facilitate communication that would help bring people and resources where they were needed. Hanna was detained on 28 October 2020 and held in pre-trial detention in Minsk. On 4 June 2021, she was convicted of “organising and preparing activities that grossly violate public order” and sentenced to 2.5 years in prison. She was then taken to a “correctional colony” in Gomel in south-eastern Belarus.