2012 02/04


Homiel human rights defenders Anatol Paplauny and Leanid Sudalenka received a reply about the registration of their common appeal from Geneva. According to their appeal, on the eve of presidential elections in 2010, they appealed to the Homiel Town’s Executive Committee for permission to hold a rally, which was to be confined with the Day of Human Rights. Human rights activists wanted to draw the attention of voters on their right to refuse early voting.

Town’s officials didn’t allow carrying out this mass action. The district court sided with the Executive Committee and the Regional Court confirmed the decision of the district court. The Supreme Court, where human rights defenders tried to the appeal against the decision, also didn’t satisfy their complaint. Thus, domestic remedies have been exhausted; it remained to hope for help of international institutions – the UN Committee on Human Rights.

In the complaint the applicants point out that Homiel, where nearly five hundred thousand people live, authorities have allotted only one place for rallies and peaceful assemblies of citizens. Moreover, according to the decision of Executive Committee, one must pay police, ambulance and community services for to organize a rally.

“We do not understand to achieve what goal to our right to peaceful assembly and opinion is limited. We believe that local authorities’ ban of the peaceful assembly is not necessary in the interests of national security, public order, protection of health, rights and freedoms of others” – emphasize human rights defenders.

They believe that the country does not fulfil its obligations under article 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, because the rules of national law “On mass events” include ambiguous and vague regulations that may be and are explained in different ways by the city authorities.

Leanid Sudalenka and Anatoly Paplauny asked the UN Committee to record a fact of the state’ violation of their rights to the Liberty of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression and advised the Belarusian government to bring the law “On mass events” in accordance with international obligations.

We remind you that this is the 128th appeal filed by the citizens of Belarus to this powerful international authority.

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

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