Head of the International Observation Mission is being deported from Belarus

Today, on March 17th, at 11 a.m. Andrey Yurov, a famous human rights defender, Head of the International Observation Mission of the Committee on International Control over the Situation with Human Rights in Belarus was released from custody in the Soviet district police department of Minsk. He spent the whole night there after his detention in a flat in Minsk where Andrey often stays.

The decision of refusal in criminal proceedings was taken as to Andrey Yurov and was signed by the police lieutenant A.A. Butkevich. One of the points in the decision says that Andrey Yurov is to leave Belarus within 24 hours because he is included into the list of persons whose entry to the territory of Belarus is forbidden or undesirable. According to our information, Andrey Yurov’s entry to the Republic of Belarus is forbidden until the year 2013 by the KGB for interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.

“Everything that happened to me is complete outrage”, – says Andrey Yurov who has just been released from custody in the Soviet district police department. – “These actions put obstacles in the way of legitimate activities of human rights defenders and break many international agreements, including the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders” – he explained.

Contacts for comments and additional information:
Belarus: +375 33 636 05 00
Russian Federation: +7 915 582 27 45 // +7 916 537 13 67
Ukraine: +380 67 404 26 46
mission@hrwatch-by.org \\ byc@hrgroups.org
twitter: @IOMission

Biography of Andrey Yurov:
Andrey Yurov is the Head of the International Observation Mission, member of the Supervisory Board of the Committee on International Control over the Situation with Human Rights in Belarus, Director of Development of the Moscow Helsinki Group, expert of the Council of Europe, member of the Expert Council under the Federal Ombudsman of the Russian Federation, member of the International Civil Initiative for the OSCE, member of the Steering Committee of the International Eurasia IDEA Network.

The International Observation Mission was established on December 27, 2010 in connection with the situation in Belarus after the presidential election. It was founded by representatives of the NGOs of the OSCE countries and international networks and organisations. It acts on behalf of the Committee on International Control over the Situation with Human Rights in Belarus, which unites representatives of human rights organisations of the OSCE region and non-governmental organizations’ coalition.

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