Statement on Human Rights Violations at the Public Hearings on Nuclear Power Plant in Ostrovets, Belarus

 

Stockolm, 18 October 2009
 
Statement from the International Conference on Nuclear Waste Problems, Stockholm, Sweden, October 17-18 2009 adopted by the over 50 participants from 11 countries
 
STATEMENT ON HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AT THE PUBLIC HEARINGS ON NUCLEAR POWER PLANT IN OSTROVETS, BELARUS
 
We express a deep concern about the human rights violation, frauds and falsifications during so-called “public hearings” on the nuclear power plant environmental impact assessment (NPP EIA) carried out by the Ministry of Energy of Belarus, municipal administration and police office in Ostrovets, Belarus on October 9, 2009.
 
The right of access to information and to distribute information was violated as distribution of critical materials during the “hearings” was forbidden by the hearing officials.  Copies of a document titled “Criticism of NPP EIA” were confiscated and the Russian nuclear scientist and Ecodefense activist Andrey Ozharovskiy, the person who brought these materials, was arrested.
 
The right to unbiased information was violated. The official EIA materials underestimated the possible emissions of radionuclides are by a factor of 320 compared to modern European standards. Further, hazardous effects of NPP emissions were not even mentioned, an assessment of nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel management was not done nor was an assessment of decommissioning the NPP.
 
The right to participate in environmental decision making was violated. Before the official start of public registration for the hearing at 10:00, the hall was already full with people loyal to the project. Access to other participants was made extremely difficult. Those critical of the nuclear power plant that were able to gain access were not given the opportunity to speak. 
 
We call on the Government of Belarus and on our national governments to not recognize the pro-nuclear meeting in Ostrovets on October 9, 2009 as a genuine and democratic public hearing.
 
We call on the Government of Belarus and on our national governments to follow the requirements of the Aarhus and Espoo Conventions.
 
We express solidarity with the antinuclear movement of Belarus and call on the Belarusian authorities to refrain from repression against researchers, young people, students, environmentalists and scientists who criticize nuclear energy and the plans to build an nuclear power plant in Belarus, which was the country most affected by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
 
We want all the nuclear activity in the Baltic Sea Region stopped to avoid possible accidents, catastrophes and radioactive contamination.
 
Additional information in Belarus: Belarussian Antinuclear Campaign http://atomby.net/,
+375-444-99-5268, info@greenbelarus.info
In Russia: Andrey Ozharovskiy, <Ecodefense!> (www.antiatom.ru)
E-mail: idc.moscow@gmail.com, Mobile: +7-905-5771240