2013 17/08

Alaksiej Łapicki, Žodzina

That is the latest example – the UN Human Rights Committee has registered a complaint of Vital Lapasau, activist from Hrodna. At first glance it is an ordinary complaint. Several dozens complaints of Belarusians have been registered and considered by the UN HRC recently. However, it should be noted that this is the first complaint of the kind from Hrodna region which was filed with the methodological support of Homel human rights defenders.

The reason for the complaint was the administrative penalty which the activists was fined after having attended an unauthorized mass event in the village Yakushouka , Svislach region on last year’s October 27. The event was dedicated to honor the memory of participants of the uprising of 1863. Other participants of the peaceful gathering – Anatol Valiuk and Viktar Dziesiatsik – were also fined. These activists have also filed individual complaints to the UN Committee. As was previously reported, Hrodna activist Aleh Kalinkou helped human rights activists to prepare the complaints to the international institution and methodological assistance was provided by Homel Center of strategic litigation.

In this regard, it should be noted that this example demonstrates the excellent cooperation, support and solidarity that today is developing between human rights defenders, lawyers and civil society activists in Belarus.

For example, as shows the case “Lapasau vs Belarus” filed to the Committee, Homel Center of strategic litigation does not limit its activities geographically. Specialists trained by HRH in Vilnius in the program “Bring the international standards of law home” , have become real experts in the field of international human rights standards and are able to work effectively with international judicial institutions, such as the UN Human Rights Committee .

And it’s wonderful, that their knowledge and experience multiply today and give real benefits in practice. Such an exchange of human rights experience gives positive results. This is important for the development of the process of implementation of international standards of law in the national legislation of Belarus as a country-signer of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Nevertheless, today basic constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens are being roughly violated.

In these circumstances, the practical experience of those who have been at the forefront of this important work – the protection of civil rights and liberties in the country – is very necessary for all those who continue to face unending violations at the hand of state agencies and finds no protection in the national judicial system and has no experience in protecting their rights in the relevant international legal bodies.

Exchange of experience and the appropriate legal support certainly helps in the effective human rights work, including the writing of individual complaints to the UN Committee on Human Rights, and as a result helps to improve the process of defending Belarusian citizens’ own inalienable constitutional rights and freedoms.

Aliaksiey Lapitsky for
Belarusian Legal Portal,

Фота: Aleś Łapicki,

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