2011 27/12

On December 26 the leadership of the “Center of strategic litigation” received a response from the UN Committee on Human Rights to the application of Homiel citizen Marysia Tulzhankova. The young activist complained to the UN Committee on Human Rights of violation of her rights by the state, namely the violation of the right of information and expression.

The case concerned the events of March 14, 2008, when, after the concert of «NRM» band in Homiel public and cultural center the girl was spreading greeting cards and invitations to Freedom Day and invited people to celebrate the anniversary in Minsk on March 25. For this she was detained by unknown people in civilian clothes. Marysia Tulzhankova was first taken to militia office, and then to the detention center where she spent two days before the trial. The court has found her guilty of violating the Law on Mass Events and punished by a fine of 350 thousand rubles (at that time it was 162 dollars). Complaints to the regional and the Supreme Court failed. “Center of strategic litigation” helped to prepare the appeal on behalf of Marya Tulzhankova to the UN Committee on Human Rights.

“The UN Committee concluded that the rights of Marysia Tulzhankova under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights have been violated by the state. And the Belarusian government must ensure the girl with an effective remedy, including compensation of the fine, court costs and compensation for damages. The state must take measures to ensure that in future the right of citizens to receive and disseminate information is not violated, “- commented the UN Committee’s response the head of the “Center of strategic litigation” Leanid Sudalenka.

Васіл Палякоў і Леанід Судаленка, Гомель

His colleague Vasil Paliakou noticed that the UN Committee on Human Rights in its decision noted for the first time that the authorities must publish this decision not only in Russian, but also in Belarusian language.

“Previously, the language question was not mentioned in the decisions of the Committee. Moreover, members of the Committee expressed personal concerns in this decision. For example, about the fact that the state, in their opinion, has violated not only Article 19 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights but also article 2 of the Covenant. The point is that our legislation, namely Article 8 of the Law on Mass Events, does not meet international legal standards. And the state must change the law, which violates the right of citizens of expression and information. If we recall that our government did not only change the law on mass events, but vice versa made it tougher after the recent amendments, the decision of the UN Committee in this case is very urgent, “- said Vasil Paliakou.

Marysia Tulzhankova notes that this decision on her appeal was unexpected for her; it made her day and gave hope that one can achieve the recognition of violation of civil rights by the state. However, we know that our government is not fulfilling the Committee’s decisions and we can hardly hope to obtain compensation or the provision of effective remedies.


“Center of strategic litigation” (Homiel) has produced more than 50 appeals from citizens to the UN Committee in recent years and 32 of them has been already registered. Six appeals in five years were granted by the Committee on Human Rights.

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

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