Another Ukrainian human rights worker refused entry into Belarus
On 30 September 2011 another member of the Committee for International Monitoring of the Human Rights Situation in Belarus, Volodymyr Senko was prevented from crossing into Belarus. Volodymyr Senko is a Ukrainian national and a member of the youth NGO Regional Initiatives Foundation. He was travelling on the Kyiv-Minsk train and at the border it turned out that his name was in the border guards’ database as a person whose entry is “undesirable or prohibited”. The border guards were unable to give any explanation, but Volodymyr was removed from the train. He waited three hours without his documents. When these were returned, on the last page he found a stamp banning entry, but not stating either the date of the ban, or the country he can’t enter. He was forced to buy a return ticket at his own expense.
Volodymyr Senko is the 12th member of the Committee for International Monitoring of the Human Rights Situation in Belarus to be banned entry into Belarus.
Just the day before, 29 September, at the OSCE Meeting in Warsaw, the Belarusian representatives were reminded yet again of the need to observe their commitments with regard to freedom of movement, and not obstruct international human rights observers from entering Belarus. In his address, the Belarusian representative virtually admitted the existence of blacklists and the Belarusian authorities’ unwillingness to bring the situation into line with international standards.
The Committee for International Monitoring of the Human Rights Situation in Belarus unites various human rights NGOs from the OSCE region, as well as international civil networks and organizations. As well as monitoring human rights, it also addresses issues concerning protecting human rights activists and ensuring that they can carry out their activities.