OSCE Condemns Belarus’ Freedom of Assembly Restrictions

Posted October 24th, 2011 at 4:50 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has condemned new measures in Belarus restricting the right to assemble.

The measures were adopted by Belarus' lower house of Parliament in early October, but just adopted Friday by the upper parliamentary chamber.

OSCE Chairperson Audronius Azubalis, who is Lithuania's foreign minister, called Monday on Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko not to sign the amendments into law, and refrain from backing away from commitments made to the OSCE.

Amendments to the Law on Mass Events make it illegal for people to gather for the purpose of a public protest in a public space in Belarus.

Changes to the Law on Public Associations also restrict the ability of Belarusians to meet with foreign organizations and hold a foreign bank account.

The director of the OSCE, Janez Lenarcic, warned Belarusian officials nearly three months ago against restricting basic freedom of assembly.