2012 27/03
Пятро Кузьняцоў, Гомель

Piatro Kuzniatsou, Homel

Homiel leader of the Movement “For Freedom!” Piatro Kuzniatsou did not agree with the actions of Belarusian authorities, which arbitrarily, to his point view, deprived him of his right to freedom of peaceful assembly. Now he is litigating this fact in the UN Committee on Human Rights.

The UN, in its turn, demanded an explanation from the Belarusian authorities. The Belarusian authorities, in their turn, disagreed with the complaint, saying that a citizen doesn’t have a right to complain to the international structure, without exhausting all local legal remedies. Therefore, the authorities will consider any decision of the Committee on this matter null and void. It should be noted that the UN Committee on Human Rights also disagreed with the wording of the Belarusian authorities that “not all local legal remedies were exhausted”, as the UN Committee accepted the complaint for review, recognizing that the “domestic remedies have been exhausted» and it was time for the international structure to make a statement.

But let’s start from the beginning. On May 7, 2009 Homiel opposition held a rally in the memory of the former Interior Minister Yury Zakharanka who had been kidnapped in front of the Homiel Department of Internal Affairs. Militia drew up protocols on the participants of the action alleged that they had violated the order of the mass gathering, and then the court punished the opposition activists with fines and arrests. The appeals to higher courts did not give results, and Piatro Kuzniatsou appealed to the UN Committee on Human Rights, arguing that his right to freedom of peaceful assembly had been violated.

The UN addressed the authorities, who were “kicking off” citizen’s complaints referring to the fact that Piatro Kuzniatsou did not appeal to the prosecutor. “By the criteria of the UN, the Prosecutor’s is not an effective kind of a domestic remedy. Thus the government by such a commentary actually interferes with the competence of the UN, because it tells how to investigate complaints, “- commented on the situation the regional leader of the Movement “For Freedom “.

“We can’t speak about the effective legal remedy with the help of supervisory complains in Belarus yet. A recent example is as follows: in the Supreme Court a supervisory complaint of Uladzislau Kavaliou was still pending, but the young man was shot without getting the response. The Belarusian Government teaches the United Nations how to investigate complaints, and offers us to use the mechanism of protection, which was used by the defunct Uladzislau Kavaliou,”- said the activist.

He recalled that Belarus was party to the Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and recognized the Committee’s competence not only to decide on the fact of the presence or absence of violations of the Covenant, but also recognized the competence of the Committee to send to the States Parties its reports and general comments which the Committee deems appropriate. The Republic of Belarus has also assumed the obligation to ensure all individuals within its territory under its jurisdiction with an effective remedy.

“Accordingly, refusing to recognize the standards, practices, methods and precedents of the Committee, the Republic of Belarus refuses to recognize its competence to interpret the requirements of any provisions of the Covenant, which is undoubtedly contrary to the object and purpose of the Covenant. I believe that the Republic of Belarus, has recognized the jurisdiction of the Committee voluntarily and has no right to affect the powers of the Committee, and likewise ignore its authoritative opinion “- summed up Piatro Kuzniatsou.

Katsiaryna Mіronava

Prepared for publication by
Ales LETA,
Belarusian Legal Portal

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