Belarus
27.01.12
Urgent Interventions

Arrest and alleged detention of Mr. Aleh Volchek

URGENT APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY

BLR 001 / 0112 / OBS 014

Arbitrary detention / Judicialharassment

Belarus

January 27, 2012

The Observatory for the Protection ofHuman Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation forHuman Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requestsyour intervention in the following situation in Belarus.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed byreliable sources of the arrest and alleged detention of Mr. Aleh Volchek,Head of “Legal Aid to the Population”, an organisation that provided legalassistance and was liquidated in 2003. The organisation recently published areport about the trial of Mr. Ales Bialiatski, President of HRC Viasnaand FIDH Vice-President. Mr. Volchek's recent work focused not only onpolitical prisoners.

According to the information received, onJanuary 27, 2012, at around 3:35 pm, Mr. Aleh Volchek was arrested by thepolice in the street in Minsk, not far from the boulevard Shevchenko, inrelation to charges of “petty hooliganism” under Article 17.1 of theAdministrative Code. The exact reasons of his detention are not known.

As of issuing this Urgent Appeal, Mr. AlehVolchek remained detained in Maskouski District Police Department of Minsk. Heis due to appear before the Central District Court of Minsk on January 30,2012.

The Observatory expresses its deepestconcern about the arrest of Mr. Aleh Volchek and calls for his immediate andunconditional release since it seems to merely aim at sanctioning his humanrights activities.

Actions requested:

The Observatory urges the authorities ofBelarus to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances thephysical and psychological integrity of Mr. Aleh Volchek, as well as of allhuman rights defenders in Belarus;

ii. Release Mr. Aleh Volchek immediatelyand unconditionally since his detention is arbitrary;

iii. Put an end to all forms ofharassment against him, including at the judicial level, and more generallyagainst all human rights defenders in the country;

iv. Comply with all the provisionsof the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particularwith:

- its Article 1, which provides that“everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, topromote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights andfundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”,

- its Article 12.2, which states that “theState shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by thecompetent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others,against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adversediscrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of hisor her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the presentDeclaration”;

v. More generally, ensure in allcircumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms inaccordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and withinternational and regional human rights instruments ratified by Belarus.

Addresses:

· President Alexander Lukashenko, ul .Karla Marksa, 38, 220016 Minsk,Belarus, Fax: + 375 172 26 06 10 or + 375 172 22 38 72, Email: infogrp@president.gov.by

· Administration of the President of Belarus, Head of the Administrationof the President of Belarus, Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Makei, Ul. K. Marksa34, 220016 Minsk, Fax: + 375 17 226-06-10

· General Prosecutor, Grigory Alekseevich Vasilevich, Internatsionalnayastr. 22, 220050 Minsk, Belarus, Fax: + 375 17 226 42 52

· Minister of Justice of Belarus, Mr. Viktor Grigorevich Golovanov, Ul. Kollektornaya, 10, 220004 Minsk, Belarus, Email kanc@minjust.by

· President of the Supreme Court of Belarus, Mr. Valentin OlegovichSukalo, Ul. Lenina, 28, 220030 Minsk, Belarus, Email: scjustrb@pmrb.gov.by

· Permanent Mission of Belarus to the United Nations in Geneva, 15 avenuede la paix, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 748 24 51. Email: mission.belarus@ties.itu.int

· Embassy of Belarus in Brussels, 192 avenue Molière, 100 Ixelles,Belgium, Fax : + 32 2.340.02.87, Email : embbel@skynet.be

Please also write to the diplomaticmission or embassy of Belarus in your respective country.

***

Paris-Geneva, January 27, 2012

Kindly inform us of any action undertakenquoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

To contact the Observatory, call theemergency line:

· E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org

· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

· Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

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