2010 09/06
Leanid Sudalenka, Homel

Leanid Sudalenka, Homel

The Homel human rights defender received an answer from the Constitutional Court to the application that had been submitted by him and Anatol Paplauny. In this document, the applicants asked the court to adopt a ruling aimed at the direct implementation by courts of the universally accepted principles and norms of international legislations and the international treaties ratified by the Republic of Belarus.

In fact, the application was fruitless. The Constitutional Court believes that citizens of Belarus have no right of legislative initiative and recommended them to apply to the state officials who possess this right: President, deputies, the court or the Council of Ministers.

The court seems to be short of paper: probably this is the reason why an answer wasn’t sent to Anatol Paplauny. Instead of it, Sudalenka’s copy contains the request to inform Mr. Paplauny about the answer.

Now Anatol Paplauny and Leanid Sudalenka are preparing individual communications to the UN Human Rights Committee concerning violation of their freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

’Imposing restrictions on freedom of expression in its ruling, the Homel City Executive Committee didn’t present any reasons why these restrictions can be necessary for achievement of one of the legal goals under Articles 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). If I follow the national legislation on peaceful assemblies and executed the ruling of the local authorities obliging me to hold the action in the only place they determined for it, the action loses its sense, because its main aim is the expression of my attitude to the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Belarus,’ points Anatol Paplauny.

Leanid Sudalenka is of the opinion that the decision of the local authorities excessively limited the very essence of the rights enshrined in Articles 19 and 21 of ICCPR.

According to the ruling of the local authorities, any person who wishes to express his/her opinion, must conclude paid agreements and pay in advance for the services of the police, medics and communal utilities from his/her own means. Moreover, the ruling establishes just one place for mass events, the ground before the Culture House of the Private Unitarian Enterprise Vipra in a dormitory area.

’In case #628/1995, Tae Hoon Park v. Republic of Korea, the UN Human Rights Committee didn’t agree with the statement of the member country about the priority of the national legislation over the civil rights enshrined in ICCPR. The Committee considered it incompatible with the ICCPR provisions that the member country considered its national legislation more important than implementation of its obligations under ICCPR,’ emphasizes the human rights defender.

Bear in mind that on 10 December 2009, the International Human Rights Day, Homel human rights defenders intended to hold a picket to mark the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The city authorities banned the action referring to their own ruling concerning the order of holding peaceful actions in the city.

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