2011 30/12

In the last days of the year the activists of independent trade union in Homiel region have filed a complaint about violations of their rights to freedom of expression and public events to the UN Committee on Human Rights. The complaint was signed by six people.

– Homiel executive committee refused me in a mass gathering in the form of picketing, which I planned to organize on May 1 in support of an independent trade union movement – the victim of violations mentioned, the head of the regional department of the trade union Viktar Kozlou, wrote to the UN.

– The only question that the court had to answer was the question of whether it was lawful to restrict my right to hold a peaceful assembly of citizens on the basis of local authorities’ laying on me more responsibilities for coming into service contracts with organizations serving peaceful picketing – this was a legal position of the union activist Yury Zakharanka.

– In our half-million city the only one place for protesters was established, and anyone who wants to express their opinions during the peaceful assembly must come into payment agreements and pre-pay services of police officers, medical and community services at their own expense. If we were to implement the decisions of local authorities to hold a peaceful assembly in a one single place, carrying out a planned peaceful assembly would completely lose its point, because their main purpose was to express solidarity and support of independent trade unions in protecting rights and liberties of working people. And it is almost impossible to make it in the outskirts of the town in sparsely populated district – adds a union member, Uladzimer Katsora.

– Local authorities, as well as the courts made no attempt to explain the reasons why for restricting the right to peaceful assembly may be required to achieve a legitimate objective within the Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – asks the member of the trade union, human rights activist Anatol Poplauny.

– In the absence of any reasonable explanation that would justify this prohibition by local authorities, I believe that by limiting my right to peaceful assembly in this particular case was not necessary in the interests of national security, public order, morality, public health, rights and freedoms of others persons, – says the trade union member Vasil Paliakou.

– The situation is aggravated by the fact that currently the national law “On mass events” includes additions, according to which a paid basis for public events has been established in legislation. Accordingly, Belarus, further would not be able to ensure that everyone has the right to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly, because at the national level it does not take any measures that are necessary to exercise the rights recognized in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, – summed up the legal inspector of the trade union in Homiel region, Leanid Sudalenka.

It is worth noting that the local authorities has not allowed the democrats to hold a single public event over the past five years, even in the Homiel ‘Bangalore square’, the only place in town, which by their own decision is a place of public statements of opposition. Last year the authorities of the region more than 45 times refused the democrats to hold peaceful gatherings of citizens.

Quoting gomelspring.org,
Prepared by Ales LETA,
Belarusian Legal Portal,

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