2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on Belarus

Submitted by Svyatoslav Sementsov, TEMA, Pride.by

U.S. Department of State for the third year in a row used information of TEMA information center in 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on Belarus.

“Providing information on discrimination based on sexual orientation in Belarus for international institutions and media is very important part of our work. And we are glad to see a lot of our materials and reports are in practical use. Belarus is a small country, and I’m not sure that everybody knows where is it; but this moments when we see that people and institutions around the world take care and pay attention to brothers and sisters in Belarus makes us stronger!” said Tanya Ivanova, co-president of TEMA.

2008 Human Rights Report: Belarus
2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
February 25, 2009

Section 5 Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons
The law prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability, language, or social status. In practice, the government did not always protect these rights. Problems included violence against women and children; trafficking in persons; and discrimination against persons with disabilities, Roma, ethnic minorities, and homosexuals.

Other Societal Abuses and Discrimination
Homosexuality is not illegal, but discrimination against homosexuals was widespread, and harassment occurred. According to a local gay rights group, government-controlled media discouraged participation in the protests following the 2006 presidential election by saying they were part of a "gay revolution."
On May 28, three youths in Minsk attacked Edvard Tarletski, a journalist and gay rights activist. Tarletski stated that he did not intend to report the attack to police because they would not do anything about the incident. He also said this attack was the third against him in five years.


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