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Belarus: Letter to authorities regarding travel ban imposed on human rights defender Mr Oleg Volchek
Front Line Defenders published a letter to the President of Belarus regarding the travel ban imposed on human rights defender Mr Oleg Volchek since March 2012.
Full text of the letter:
Dear President Lukashenko,
Front Line Defenders would like to express its concern with the travel ban imposed on human rights defender Mr Oleg Volchek since March 2012. Oleg Volchek is a lawyer and director of the non-governmental organisation Legal Aid to Population in Belarus.
On 12 March 2012, Oleg Volchek was informed that there was a temporary travel ban imposed on him. On 23 March 2012, he applied to the Office of Registration and Visa at the Department of Internal Affairs of the Frunzenskiy district in Minsk for detailed information on this. He was notified that the temporary travel ban was the result of information provided by the Ministry of Justice on the basis of a civil case taken against him. He was not given details of the alleged civil case, and was advised to apply to the Ministry of Justice for further information.
On 23 March 2012, Oleg Volchek applied to the City Department of Justice of Minsk City for information on the imposed travel ban, and was informed that his name does not appear on the list of people under a temporary travel ban in their database. On the same day, Oleg Volchek also submitted a complaint to the Belarusian Ministry of Justice and requested an internal investigation to be conducted into the insertion of his name on a travel ban list. On 26 April, he received a response from the Ministry of Justice, signed by I.V Petrova, Head of the Information Department, that the database is managed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
On 4 May 2012, Oleg Volchek applied with a written complaint to the Frunzenskiy District Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the inclusion of his name without any legal ground in the database of persons temporarily banned from travelling abroad.
Front Line Defenders believes that the travel ban imposed on Oleg Volchek is solely motivated by his legitimate and peaceful human rights work, and in order to restrict his movements. We therefore request that the Belarusian authorities immediately and unconditionally ensure its lifting.
As Oleg Volchek has upcoming travel plans related to his professional work, at the end of May and beginning of June 2012, we would request that you take action on this case as soon as possible.
Front Line Defenders also calls on the Belarusian authorities to guarantee in all circumstances that the right to freedom of movement of human rights defenders in Belarus is protected, in order that they may carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and restrictions.
Mary Lawlor, Director
Full text of the letter is attached below in PDF version.
You can find additional information on the situation for human rights Defenders in Belarus. HERE