Summary Methodology I. Background Civil Society in Belarus before December 2010 II. The December 19 Presidential Election and Its Immediate Aftermath The Presidential Election Administrative Arrests and Trials Beatings Due Process Violations Mistreatment in Administrative Detention III. Criminal Defendants Access to Counsel Mistreatment at the KGB Detention Facility Pressure on Relatives Pressure on Lawyers IV. Crackdown on Civil Society Harassment of Civil Society Groups Intimidation of Media Restrictions on Internet Use and Blogging Recommendations To the Government of Belarus To the United Nations To the OSCE To Concerned Governments, in particular those of European Union Member States and that of the United States Acknowledgements.
"On December 19, 2010, the presidential election in Belarus shattered hopes for democratic progress. That night, police beat and arrested hundreds of people protesting what they considered to be a rigged vote. During the next two weeks, administrative courts sentenced at least 725 people to between 10 and 15 days detention for participating in an unsanctioned gathering. Trials typically lasted 10 to 15 minutes and took place behind closed doors. Most accused had no defense counsel and could not call witnesses. Detainees served their sentences in overcrowded, unhygienic cells. Thirty-eight individuals were charged with organizing or participating in riots related to the December 19 protest--including five former presidential candidates--and could serve up to 15 years in jail if convicted of rioting offenses. By the beginning of March 2011 at least 30 were still held on remand and had been unable to meet privately with their lawyers, some of whom said they were unofficially warned not to talk publicly about their clients' cases. Some lawyers have been stripped of their license for doing so. This report, based on research conducted in Minsk in February 2011, documents the human rights violations that have occurred since the election. These have led to a serious deterioration in the already poor state of human rights in Belarus, where, after more than a decade of stifled civic freedoms, civil society faces a new wave of government harassment. This includes raids on NGOs and media outlets, and new internet regulations that make it easier for the government to clampdown on online news sources. Shattering Hopes: Post-Election Crackdown in Belarus calls on Belarus's government to immediately release detainees who were not engaged in acts of violence on December 19, and end all forms of harassment of civil society."--P.  of cover.
"This report was researched and written by Anna Sevortian, director of Human Rights Watch's representative office in Russia, and Yulia Gorbunova, Europe and Central Asia Division associate."--P. 31. "March 2011"--P. following t.p. verso.
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references.
Also available via the Internet on the Human Rights Watch web site.
Available in Other Form
Online version: Sevortʹ͡ian, Anna. Shattering hopes. New York, NY, USA : Human Rights Watch, c2011