2011

GOLOS REPORTS ON ELECTION FRAUD IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Brussels, 9th December 2011: On December 7th and 8th 2011 Maria Lipman from the Carnegie Centre Moscow and Arkadi Lubarev from GOLOS reported on the outcomes of the Russian Duma elections in Brussels. The meetings were held on the invitation of European Exchange, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the EU - Russia Delegation at the European Parliament.

Currently GOLOS is preparing the final monitoring report of the Duma elections which is to be expected by end of January 2012.

Case-by-case documentation of election fraud may be found on the "map of results" of GOLOS - here you get an insight into the falsifiaction factory of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation. See here.

GOLOS REPORT: MASSIVE FALSIFICATION AND HARRASSMENT OF INDEPENDENT ELECTION OBSERVERS

Brussels, 6th December 2011: Golos presents its draft report on the election periode and reports on massive falsifications during the election campaign. Arkadi Lubarev, GOLOS and Masha Lipman, Carnegie Centre will present the main findings of the election observation and discuss political perspectives during a lunch debate with the Heinrich Boell foundation in Brussels on December 7th at 12.30. See here. A presentation of the outcomes of the Duma Elections through Lubarev and Lipman will be held in the European Parliament on 7th December at 16.00. See here. On 8th December there will be held a public discussion on the elections at the Lew Kopelew Forum in Koeln. For further informations go here.

INCREASING PRESSURE ON THE ELECTION MONITORING OF GOLOS

Berlin, 3rd December 2011: European Exchange is extremely concerned about the increasing pressure on our partner organization GOLOS. The EU Russia Civil Society Forum which was hold 1 and 2nd December 2011 in Warsaw and where both GOLOS and European Exchange hold membership has expressed its protest against the restrictions of the work of GOLOS and calls on the Russian administration to fully guarantee the independent monitoring of the upcoming Parliamentary elections through GOLOS. The declaration you may find here (in english) and here (in german). The latest monitoring reports of GOLOS you may find here.

See also a statment of GOLOS (only in german available) concerning the spoiling campaign against their organisation.

DECLARATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY MEMORIAL

Berlin, 30. November 2011: Je näher die Dumawahlen kommen, umso größer wird die Nervosität der russischen Machthaber. In den vergangenen Tagen wurde die Assoziation GOLOS, die seit 2000 Wahlen beobachtet und Verletzungen fixiert, beispiellos angegriffen. Die Zeitung «Rossijskaja Gaseta» hat über diese angesehene Organisation einen Artikel veröffentlicht, der sich in keiner Weise von denen unterscheidet, die zu Sowjetzeiten über Andrej Sacharow oder Alexander Soschenizyn geschrieben wurden. Abgeordnete der Parteien Einiges Russland, LDPR und Gerechtes Russland haben dem Generalstaatsanwalt Tschajka eine kollektive Anfrage zugeleitet, in der sie ihn bitten auf die Tätigkeit der Assoziation GOLOS zu reagieren und darauf hinweisen, dass GOLOs angeblich in grober Weise die russische Wahlgesetzgebung verletzt. Der Hauptvorwurf ist in KGB-Tradition einfach: Die Organisation bekommt Geld von ausländischen Organisationen und das bedeutet für die Klage Führenden, dass ihre Arbeit den russischen Staat untergräbt. Genau diese Anschuldigung war auch in äußerst grober Form aus dem Mund von Putin auf dem Parteitag von Einiges Russland zu vernehmen.

Wir sehen keinen Sinn darin von der Staatsmacht zu fordern, die verleumderische Kampagne gegen die unabhängigen Beobachter einzustellen und sich bei GOLOS zu entschuldigen. Solcher Art Hysterie hört nicht wegen irgend jemandes Forderungen auf. Wir wollen lediglich die Aufmerksamkeit der Öffentlichkeit darauf lenken, dass die gegenwärtigen Machthaber sich keinesfalls um eine mögliche Verfälschung des Wählerwillens im Laufe der Abstimmung und bei der Stimmenauszählung sorgen, sondern um Aktivität derjenigen, die diese Verfälschungen bemerken und aufdecken könnten. Die Gründe für solch einseitige Sorge dürften offensichtlich sein. Wir drücken unsere Unterstützung und unsere Hochachtung für die Assoziation GOLOS und für alle aus, die mit Kräften dazu beitragen, die Zahl der möglichen Wahlfälschungen zu verringern. [PDF]

RUSSIAN ELECTION OBSERVERS IN THE GERMAN BUNDESTAG

Berlin, 25th November 2011: On Thursday, 24th of November 2011, Lilia Shibanova and Alexander Kynev from the independent election monitoring organization GOLOS, Moscow, presented the main findings of the ongoing election observation to the Duma elections on an experts' discussion in the German Bundestag. The meeting was hold on the invitation of Dr. Andreas Schockenhoff MdB and the European Exchange. Ms Shibanova and Mr Kynev reported on the main manipulations observed during the agitation campaign, the results of the media monitoring of GOLOS and on the political context of the ongoing elections.

See also Deutsch-Russische Nachrichten here and Press report A.Schockenhoff here.

For more pictures go here.

CALL FOR IMMIDIATE RELEASE AND REHABILITATION OF ALES BELIACKI

Berlin, 24th November 2011: Together with other 75 European human rights organisations, European Exchange resolutely condemns the court verdict to sentence Ales Bialiatski to 4,5 years imprisonment with confiscation of his property. Together with the Human Rights House network we call upon the Belarusian authorities to immediately drop all charges against Ales Bialiatski and stop his criminal prosecution.

More information and the letter sent to the Belarusian Authorities on November 24 you may find on the website of the Human Rights House network see here.

BERLIN DECEMBER 13th 2011: ELECTION OBSERVERS REPORT ON DUMA ELECTIONS

Berlin, 23th November 2011: The Heinrich Boell Foundation and European Exchange invite to a public disussion on the quality of the Duma election on December 13th 2011, 7 pm - 9 pm at the Heinrich Boell Foundation Berlin, Schumannstrasse 8 with Aleksandr Buzin, GOLOS; Nikolai Petrov, Carnegie Center Moscow; Marieluise Beck, Member of the German Bundestag, Green Party; facilitation Walter Kaufmann, Heinrich Böll Stiftung. More information and registration see here.

PRESS RELEASE OF GREENS/EUROPEAN FREE ALLIANCE

Straßburg, 15. November 2011: Am 16. November jährt sich zum zweiten Mal der Mord am Anwalt Sergej Magnitsky, der 2009 in einem Moskauer Untersuchungsgefängnis wegen unterlassener medizinischer Hilfe starb. Dazu erklärt der grüne Europaabgeordnete Werner Schulz, Vizevorsitzender des Parlamentarischen Kooperationsausschusses EU-Russland, dass die EU dem Beispiel der USA und Großbritanniens folgen solle. Lady Ashton muesse aktiv werden und Initiativen und Diskussionen wie in den Niederlanden und Deutschland über Einreiseverbote und Kontensperrungen der beteiligten korrupten Beamten zusammenführen und durchsetzen.

DUMA-WAHLEN IN RUSSLAND - PERSPEKTIVEN FÜR RUSSLAND UND DEUTSCHLAND

Berlin, 14th November 2011: On the 23th of November 2011, 7pm at Tagesspiegel Verlagshaus, Askanischer Platz 3, 10963 Berlin. Participants: Prof. Lew Gudkow, "Levada-Centre", Moscow; Lilia Shibanova, GOLOS, Moscow; Marina Schuster MdB, FDP; Prof. Dr. Hans-Henning Schröder, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. The invitation, the application and the programm can be found here. Please apply till the 21st of November.

ELECTION MONITORING CAMPAIGN STARTS

Berlin, 2nd November 2011: European Exchange and the Russian election monitoring organisation GOLOS are launching regular coverage of the parliamentary election campaign. In the coming three months, election monitoring reports by GOLOS and expert’s opinions will be published fortnightly as a special category of the Russland Analysen (Russia Analyses), the Russian Analytical Digest and distributed via this online newsletter to an interested public. The coverage is supported by the German Association for East European Studies DGO and the Heinrich Boell Foundation. You may find the reports on this website.

TRAIL OF VIASNA LEADER ALES BIALIATSKI

Berlin, 20th October 2011: The Human Rights Center VIASNA annouced that the trial of their leader Ales Bialiatski is due to start on the 2nd of November at Minsk Maskouski District Court. Bialiatski has been arrested on the 4th of August by Belarusian authorities on charges of tax evasion.

Read the article here

GOLOS PRESS RELEASE

Berlin, 15th October 2011: Golos Expresses Concern over comments made by Central Election Commission Chairman (CEC), Vladimir Churov, in a recent interview on Rain TV.

Full article can be read here (in English)

DECLARATION OF THE "EASTERN PARTNERSHIP CONFERENCE" MEETING FOR THE EAP SUMMIT IN WARSAW

Warsaw, 29th September 2011: The civil society organisations, participants of the Warsaw "Eastern Partnership Conference" 29th September are concernced about continuous human rights violations in the countries of the Eastern Partnership and call for their unanominous condemnation through the EU institutions - see the declaration here.

EUROPEAN EXCHANGE CALLS FOR FREE ELECTIONS IN RUSSIA, AND FOR THEIR INDEPENDENT OBSERVATION

Berlin, 19th July 2011: Stefanie Schiffer, CEO of European Exchange, along with representatives of other organizations, has signed a statement calling for free and fair elections in Russia, and for a monitoring of the upcoming elections by independent domestic observation missions. The statement has been released in the context of the 2011 “Petersburg Dialogue“ (where this issue hasn’t been touched during the concluding session, with President Medvedev and Chancellor Merkel present).

Read the statement here (in German).

EUROPEAN EXCHANGE SIGNS OPEN LETTER PROTESTING MASS ARRESTS IN BELARUS

Berlin, 13 July 2011: Europan Exchange has signed as one of 38 Organisations from 16 countries an Open letter to the President of the Republic of Belarus to protest the continuing repressions against civil society in Belarus and the recent arrests of peaceful demonstrators.

See the Open letter here.

LOCAL ELECTIONS IN MOLDOVA

Berlin, 23th June 2011: Since April 2011 European Exchange is cooperating with the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections in Moldova. Local elections of June 5 and 19th resulted with the opposition Moldovan Communist Party (MCP) getting 4.077 mandates of local councilors and mayors.

According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), the elected 203 mayors, 434 raion and municipal councilors and 3.440 rural and town councilors are from the MCP. The 2nd ranked the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (LDPM), which has 3.627 thousand elected representatives, including 286 mayors. The 3rd is the Democratic Party – 2.709 thousand (220); the 4th – the Liberal Party with 1.388 thousand and 97 respectively. The new city major of the capital Chisinau is Dorin Chirtoaca from the Liberal Party who had a narrow victory over Igor Dodon from the Communist party with 50,6% to 49,5%.

Please find the monitoring report of the local elections here

BELARUS: MONITORING OF POST-ELECTION TRIALS

Berlin,10th June 2011: NEWSLETTER No. 12: WEEKLY REVIEW OF POST-ELECTION SITUATION IN BELARUS (30 May - 05 June)

The trials of the majority of figurants of the “19 December riot” criminal case came to an end in May. 31 people were convicted. However, there remain about 20 suspects and accused who haven't been tried so far. Rodion Marinichev, correspondent for the Russian TV channel Dozhd, was deported from Belarus and banned entry for 5 years. The court left in force the official warning to the private socio-political weekly Nasha Niva. The cassation appeal against the warning issued to the Chair of the Human Rights Center Viasna, Ales Bialiatski, for activities on behalf of unregistered organization, was left standing as well. The Ministry of Justice exercises pressure on lawyers. Convicts make statements about the use of torture during the investigation.

See the full report http://spring96.org/en/news/43867.

POLITICAL PRISONERS, A BOMBING, AND THE ECONOMY IN CRISIS – A BAD START FOR LUKASHENKA

Berlin, 25th May 2011: Stefanie Schiffer, CEO of the European Exchange, has published an article Politische Gefangene, Bombenattentat und Wirtschaftskrise – kein guter Start für Lukaschenka [“Political Prisoners, a bombing, and the economy in crisis – a bad start for Lukashenka”] on the situation in Belarus after the 2010 presidential elections in Belarus-Analysen.

Read more here [German].

For subscribing to Belarus-Analysen please contact fsopr@uni-bremen.de, with the subject “Abo Belarus-Analyse”

ANNOUNCMEMENT: PRESS CONFERENCE WITH ALES MIKHALEVICH AND KATYA STATKEVICH AT THE GERMAN BUNDESTAG ON FRIDAY, MAY 13 2011, AT 2:00 PM.

Berlin, 11th May 2011: The press conference on the post-election situation in Belarus is being organised by the German-Belarusian Society, in cooperation with the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Bundestag fractions of CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP, and Alliance 90/The Greens. The conference will be moderated by Marieluise Beck, Member of the Bundestag.

For further details or to register, click here.

FOUNDING MEETING OF THE EU-RUSSIA CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM

Berlin, 1st April 2011: On 28-29 March 2011, 57 representatives of the Russian and EU civil societies came together in Prague for the Founding Meeting of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum. The aim of the Forum is to increase interaction and cooperation between civil society organisations from across Russia and the EU member states and to promote people to people exchanges. Werner Schulz, MEP of the Greens/EFA and an official observer of the Forum, said to Deutsche Welle „The important thing is to support those forces that are promoting democracy and participation and that are very active in terms their involvement in society”. European Exchange is co-author of the initiative and has, from the very beginning, contributed to the preparation of the EU Russia Forum.

For more information see: EU-Russia Civil Society Forum and Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights, Russian Federation

PRESENTATION OF INDEPENDENT MONITORING REPORT OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN BELARUS AT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Berlin, 17th March 2011: On Thursday, 17 March 2011, Aleh Hulak (Chairman of the Belarus Helsinki Committee), Uladzimir Labkovich (Human Rights Center “Viasna”) and Stefanie Schiffer (COE of the “European Exchange”), at the invitation of the European Parliament delegation for relations with Belarus, presented the findings in the independent monitoring report to the Delegation, chaired on that day by Elisabeth Schroedter and Werner Schulz, both of the Greens / EFA.

PRESENTATION OF INDEPENDENT MONITORING REPORT OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN BELARUS IN THE GERMAN BUNDESTAG

Berlin, 24th February 2011: On Thursday, 24 February 2011, Aleh Hulak (Chairman of the Belarus Helsinki Committee), Valiantsin Stefanovich (Human Rights Center “Viasna”) and Stefanie Schiffer (COE of the “European Exchange”), on the invitation of Marie-Luise Beck and the Greens Faction of the German Bundestag, have presented the outcomes of the independent monitoring report in the German Bundestag.

The presentation of independent monitoring report in the European Parliament will take place on Thursday, 17 March 2011 in Brussels.

You may get more information from assistenz@european-exchange.org

INTERVIEW DW AND TUT.BY: CANCELLATION OF VISA REGIME FOR BELARUSIANS - A QUESTION OF TIME

Berlin, 18th February 2011: According to Stefanie Schiffer, CEO European Exchange for Deutsche Welle and tut.by the cancellation of the Shengen visa regime for Belarusians is overdue and a question of time. Read the interviews here:

http://news.tut.by/politics/215713.html,

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14851340,00.html

HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS PUBLISH THE FINAL REPORT ON THE 2010 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

Berlin, 11th February 2011: Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections campaign presents its final monitoring report on the December 19, 2010 presidential election in Belarus.

Public presentations of the report will take place on
- 24 February in Berlin, German Bundestag, for registration click here: http://www.gruene-bundestag.de/cms/termine/dok/370/370797.belarus_zivilgesellschaft_unter_druck.html
- 17 March in Brussels, European Parliament, date and place to be confirmed.
For more information please contact European Exchange, Berlin, tel. 0049 30 616 71 464 0, email: info@european-exchange.org.

80 long term observers conducted the monitoring of all stages of the electoral campaign since September 14, 2010. Furthermore, 600 short-term observers were permanently present at 300 polling stations throughout the country during the early voting and on the election day. The report gives the campaign's assessment on the election process and provides recommendations on how the election process could be brought in line with international standards.

The campaign is a joint undertaking of the Human Rights Centre Viasna (http://spring96.org) and Belarusian Helsinki Committee (http://www.belhelcom.org), implemented in cooperation with Europaeischer Austausch / European Exchange (www.european-exchange.org). The campaign is independent and politically non-engaged.

Click here to read the full Independent Observation Report of the Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections.

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