Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Elena Tonkacheva: suspension of deportation and reflections on appeal process

Following deportation charges, Belarusian human rights activist of Russian origin, Elena Tonkacheva, reflects on the credibility of the offence leading to her expulsion and the appeal process in Belarus.

Ms. Tonkacheva, summoned to deportation by Belarusian authorities after insignificantly exceeding the speed limit, was granted an extension of her residency permit in Belarus for the period of one month, following an appeal submitted by the activist on November 28 2014.

In her criticisms, Ms. Tonkacheva points to false threat and supposition surrounding the charges brought against her, violations of bilateral agreements on the freedom of movement between Russia and Belarus, infringement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

According to a statement by Ms. Tonkacheva, the Pershamaiski District Department of Internal Affairs has so far refused to provide her with materials of the case and has failed to respond to both oral and written motions, “creating significant hindrances for preparation of the full and exhaustive appeal to the actions of the District Department of Internal Affairs.”

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum adopted a resolution during the sixth annual assembly in Batumi in support of Ms. Tonkacheva, which regards the decision taken by authorities as politically motivated, and calls on the European Union to insist on democratic principles and prevent her expulsion from the country.

Prior to this, the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum endorsed a statement of the Belarusian National Platform, which expressed concern regarding the cancellation of Ms. Tonkacheva’s residency permit.

More information

Resolution on the support of human rights activist Elena Tonkacheva
Statement of the Belarusian National Platform

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