Irina Khalip:

Jeg ble truet, slått og arrestert pga. det jeg skrev.

2. april 1997, mens hun dekket en protest mot den foreslåtte gjenforening av Hviterussland med Russland, opplevde hun at faren, en dokumentarfilmskaper, ble slått bevisstløs. Hun ble selv skamslått av politiet .  Den hendelsen bare styrket henne i arbeidet med å avsløre korrupsjon i Hviterussland, spesielt fordi hun var journalist i Minsk for den undersøkende avisen Novaja Gazeta, der reporter Anna Politkovskaya arbeidet før hun ble drept.

Så truslene og voldsepisodene fortsatte.  Tidlig i 2011 tilbrakte Khalip en og en halv måned i fengsel og fikk en to års betinget dom for sin rolle under protestene mot president Alexsandr Lukasjenko´s kontroversielle gjenvalg i desember 2010.

I dag er hun i husarrest: Hun må fortelle politiet om sine reiseplaner og er utestengt fra å flytte eller forlate Minsk i lenger tid enn en måned. Politiet besøker hennes hjem sporadisk, ofte midt på natten. Hun er blitt «alenemor»: ektemannen Andrei Sannikov, som vant flest stemmer blant de ni opposisjonskandidater med 2,43 prosent i 2010 valget, fikk fem år i fengsel. Under rettssaken fortalte han at sjefen for de hviterussiske sikkerhetstjenester personlig truet med tøffe represalier mot hans kone og deres barn. Myndighetene truet med å plassere sønnen deres i et barnehjem. Khalip sier hun ikke vil slutte å rapportere om overgrep.  Det er bare en vei å gå: fremover.

Iryna Khalip er den første av 23 saker der overgriperne ikke er blitt straffet som nå presenteres ifm. IFEX-kampanjen mot straffefrihet og er foreslått av Norsk PEN og Helsingforskomiteen.

Send appellbrev til hviterussiske myndigheter:

President Alexander Lukashenko
38, Karl Marx Street
Minsk, 220016
Republic of Belarus

contact@president.gov.by
cc.
Alexander Barsukov, Department of Internal Affairs of the Minsk City Executive Committee

oios@guvd.gov.by
Miklós
Haraszti, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus
sr-belarus@ohchr.org

XX. November 2012

Your Excellency,

As we begin marking the International Day to End Impunity on 23 November, we would like to respectfully draw your attention to the case of independent journalist Irina Khalip, living under house arrest for her reporting in Belarus, whom we believe to be subject to undue psychological pressure.

 Khalip, the Minsk-based correspondent for the Russian paper «Novaya Gazeta», spent a month and a half in jail in early 2011. She was given a two-year suspended sentence for her role in protests surrounding the elections in December 2010.

 Her husband Andrei Sannikov, an opposition candidate in the 2010 election, was given five years in jail for his role in the protests. During his trial, he said the chief of Belarus’s security services personally threatened harsh reprisals against his wife and their child. Authorities also threatened to put their son in an orphanage.

Today, those threats have come true. While Khalip lives under house arrest, she must tell police her travel plans, and is banned from moving or leaving Minsk for longer than a month. We are extremely alarmed by reports that police visit her home sporadically, often in the middle of the night – traumatising her and her five-year-old son. This is not acceptable under legal standards, and unfairly persecutes her young child, who has the right to special protection under the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

 Article 2 of the Declaration states:  «The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.»

 We ask that steps are taken to stop the police visits to Khalip’s home, particularly in the middle of the night, and that the conditions of her house arrest comply with international standards, so that her child may live free from intimidation and psychological abuse.

 We also ask that the fundamental human right to freedom of expression and assembly be upheld in Belarus, that the charges against Iryna Khalip be dropped, and those responsible for threatening Khalip and her child be brought to justice.

 Yours sincerely,