Collecting voluntary donations from individuals and foreign nationals, as well as arranging the payment of fines imposed on persons brought to administrative responsibility only for participating in peaceful assemblies and exercising the freedoms of peaceful assembly and expression guaranteed by the Constitution of Belarus and international human rights law has nothing to do with financing any illegal activity and, accordingly, is not a crime.
In this context, the activities of Andrei Aliaksandrau and Iryna Zlobina constitute voluntary and charitable work to help victims of mass political repression and are essentially human rights activities. // 18.01.2021
Our position on these cases is that Experts of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, however, believe that peaceful assemblies should be under state protection, while the police should not take action to forcibly stop them, even if they violate applicable rules. Violent cessation of assemblies and the use of physical force against protesters should be carried out only as a last resort, in cases where the behavior of the participants is violent, which poses a real threat to national and public security, life and health of citizens. // 16.01.2021
We assess the persecution of Sviataslau Herasimuk, Yan Falkin, Aliaksei Melnikau, Volha Paulava, Aleksandr Gedzhadze, Aliaksandr Rayentau, Viktoryia Mirontsava, Anastasiya Mirontsava, and Mikalai Shametau as politically motivated, as it is related solely to their exercise of freedom of peaceful assembly and expression and recognize them as political prisoners. // 12.01.2021
Based on our earlier statement of December 22 demanding the decriminalization of defamation, cessation of the persecution and release of all political prisoners convicted of defamation or insult of officials, public officials and the President, as well as the insult to state symbols, and given that Siarhei Hardziyevich and Dzmitry Kulakouski were isolated (imprisoned) before the court, we consider their persecution to be politically motivated, and Siarhei Hardziyevich and Dzmitry Kulakouski themselves as political prisoners, in accordance with paragraph 3.1 (a) of the Guidelines on the Definition of Political Prisoners. // 29.12.2020
The BHC drew the attention of the Special Rapporteur to the lack of a legal basis for such database and its use for purposes that do not comply with the principles of legality, necessity and proportionality. The BHC expressed concern that given the fact that the collected data includes places of work, study and even hobbies, the government may use it for point intimidation in order to prevent people from expressing their opinions through peaceful protests. // 29.12.2020