Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Two observers get expelled from a polling station an hour before the end of the voting

At about 7 p.m. on October 11, a woman who introduced herself as “the coordinator for observers”, expelled the observers of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Yuliya Filiphyk and Alena Malko from polling station No. 4 in the Kastryčnicki district of Minsk,

During the week the observers were counting the electors who were coming to the polling station. By Saturday evening their number was just 284 people compared to 456 people in the commission's protocol. On Sunday morning the latter number became yet higher, 589 people. The independent observers weren't allowed to see the protocol. However, when OSCE observers visited the polling station, the BHC observers pointed at this fact and continued the observation. Moreover, according to the observers' information, even despite the overstatement of the turnout the number of the voters is too low for the commission to declare that over 50% of electors have voted and the results of the elections at the polling station are valid.

Later on, the woman who introduced herself as the “coordinator for observers in the Kastryčnicki district”, tried to remove them from the polling station.

“At about 7 p.m. we were approached by a woman holding a passport and some ID, who introduced herself as the coordinator for observers in the Kastryčnicki district and told us that in order to get nominated as observers the nomination sitting was to have been attended by ten people, whereas during the nomination of each of us only 7 and 6 members of the BHC had been present. Therefore, according to her, we had no right to be present at the polling station during the week, and therefore they had to remove us from the polling station,” reports Yuliya Filipchyk.

The observers went away for some time, but then again returned to the polling station. However, the situation repeated. This time, the campaign on their removal was joined by the chairperson of the election commission, who threatened them with the police and incited other observers to write an act about the violations that were allegedly committed by Yu. Filiphyk and A. Malko during the voting. The observers weren't issued any written documents to justity their expulsion.. However, they managed to learn the name of the “coordinator for observers” - Sviatlana Berastsevich.

When the observers returned to the polling station for the third time, they were met by the police, who expelled them for good.

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections"