Human Rights defenders are expulted from the country right from court premises

Today, on 28 April, after detention in the court and transportation to city-district department of militia, Ivan Kondratenko, representative of the International Observation Mission (IOM) was given an order about leaving the territory of the Republic of Belarus within 24 hours. It seems that expulsion of the human rights defenders and ban for their entry to the country becomes a norm for Belarusian Government.

Law-enforcement staff members detained human rights defender Ivan Kondratenko near 1.3 p.m. (according to Minsk time) in Oktyabrskiy district court of the Minsk city where he was observing on behalf of IOM and made monitoring the trial of participants of the events on 19 December 2010. Ivan is the participant of the International Youth Human Rights Movement, citizen of the Russian Federation. 

Ivan was transported to Moskovskiy District Department of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Minsk city where his passport was taken away under excuse of verification its “originality” as well as two mobile phones.

Ivan Kondratenko was released only after 6 p.m. after spending 4 hours in militia department without filing an accusation against him and drafting minutes about detention. As a result he was given notice of the Migration Service with instruction to leave territory of the Republic of Belarus within 24 hours.

Valentin Gefter, representative of IOM in Belarus, member of the Council under the President of the Russian Federation for the Promotion of Civil Society and Human Rights institutions made the following comments with regard to this fact: «Situation is very similar to the case with Andrey Yurov, Head of IOM. Ivan Kondratenko was detained at the moment of taking human rights monitoring in the court. This way Belarus continues to demonstrate its disregard to its international obligations within OSCE and UN. After having accepted these obligations Belarus agreed with taking international control on situation with human rights on its territory. In this context, any expulsions or bans for entry for human rights observers are unacceptable. This especially looks cynical toward citizens of the Russian Federation after signing by Belarus Agreement about creation of the Union State.” 

In response to previous cases of limitation of entrance of human rights defenders from Ukraine and Russia to the territory of Belarus organizations-members of the Committee on International Control over the Situation with Human Rights in Belarus launched public awareness campaign “For open entry to Belarus»: http://entry.hrwatch-by.org.

Existence of “blacklists” in Belarus has already lead to criticism from the side of external affairs bodies of different states, in particular from Ukraine and Russia as citizens of these countries have the right of visa-free entrance the country. Both countries issued notes and released comments of high profile diplomats and this way expressed their concerns about possibility of existence of blacklists and also unfounded expulsion of the human rights defenders. Despite the absence of the official response with recognition of existence of the above-mentioned lists, authorities of Belarus continued depraved practice, ignoring appeals of human rights organizations and notes of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs. 

News of Belarus

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