2013 10/12

Vasil Paliakou and Leanid Sudalenka

In total, since the beginning of the year the Center for Strategic Litigation filed 24 new strategic cases. 14 messages were sent to the UN Committee on Human Rights, three of which have been registered and sent to the Government of Belarus for comments.

During this year in Geneva there were adopted 4 new decisions on individual complaints, prepared with the participation and assistance of the Centre, which found violations by the state of certain rights of Belarusian citizens.

The organization also conducts educational and other activities. Since the beginning of the year two seminars were held on “Strategic litigation in the activities of human rights organizations”, one of which was international and was held in Poland.

Quoting the head of the Center, lawyer Leanid Sudalenka:

“In Homel region, as well as throughout the country as a whole, there happen many violations of human rights. It’s almost impossible to vindicate claims in Belarusian courts, especially when it comes to civil and political rights. In particular, such as the right to freedom of expression, the right to peaceful assembly, the right to an independent court, the right to disseminate information. In practice, it’s impossible to protect oneself from discrimination for political reasons”.

The other representative and coordinator of the Center Vasil Paliakou said:

“The current work of the Centre is aimed at the future. Today, firstly, we are working for the future, and secondly, we are working to change legal consciousness of judges, lawyers and officials. One thing is, when we say that national law was violated and quite another thing is when we refer to international standards, the practice of UN and the European Court. They see that the truth and the advantage is on our side, that these standards can not be violated”.

January

With the help of the Center for Strategic Litigation in the Central District Court there was initiated a strategic lawsuit about the 19 pickets banned by Homel City Executive Committee. The pickets had been planned to be hold by the activists of Homel regional branch of the United Civil Party (UCP) on December 19, 2012 under the slogan “Stole election to sell the country”. On all cases of prohibition of peaceful assembly filing collective complaints is planned on behalf of Natallia Shchukina to the UN Human Rights Committee.

With the help of the Center for Strategic Litigation, the Chairman of Homel Regional Belarusian Left Party “Fair World” Uladzimir Siakerka initiated a strategic litigation. He demanded to recognize the actions of border guards who had took him off the train, illegal and to oblige the military part 1242 of the State Border Committee to provide information about the procedure and the legal basis for enrolling him on the “list database” as well as about the procedure and legal basis for exclusion him from those lists through the Central District Court of Homel.

Chairman of the United Civil Party Anatol Liabedzka sent a complaint to the Minsk City Court against the decision of the Soviet district court. The Liabedzka’s complaint to the Minsk City Court was prepared by the Center of Strategic Litigation. The politician was fined three basic units for participation in “unsanctioned picketing” during which he had been “handing out leaflets”.

February

The Human Rights Committee of the United Nations has registered a complaint of the head of a district branch of “Fair World” party Valery Rybchanka from Zhlobin on pickets ban in 2012. Methodological assistance in the present case was rendered by Homel Center for strategic litigation. This is the 152nd complaint from Belarus, registered in the United Nations.

Homel Central District Court judge Maryna Damnenka dismissed the complaint of Homel activist from the United Civil Party (UCP), who on December 19, last year, were denied 19 peaceful assembly declared in different places of the regional center. The applicants were represented by the Head of the Centre for Strategic Litigation Leanid Sudalenka.

The center for Strategic Litigation started the case of the retired Uladzimir Korabau from Homel, who had happened to be the victim of bank fraud. Using trust and passport of an elderly man the attackers issued on his name a suppliers’ credit in MTBank in ammount more than 9 ml. rubles. As a result, fraudsters have been discovered by the police.

March

The head of the Center for Strategic Litigation Leanid Sudalenka together with a region representative of the human rights center “Viasna” Anatol Paplauny appealed to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations about the Executive’s Committee’s ban of a peaceful rally in Homel planned to be held on Freedom Day, March 25, 2012.

Former Chairman of the Homel City Executive Committee Sviatlana Haldadze with the help of the Center for Strategic Litigation filed a complaint to the Human Rights Committee of the UN on the ban to conduct a picket in support of the imprisoned human rights activist Ales Bialiatski in the regional center together with the others on last year’s August 4.

With the help of the Center for Strategic Litigation democratic activists Kastus Zhukouski and Zmitser Karashkou appealed to the Central District Court on the case when Homel City Executive Committee had refused to hold pickets “Homel Executive Committee! Keep away from history!” and “Against alcoholization of population”. In their essence these complaints are strategic – they are aimed at changing the situation about holding mass events in Homel.

April

In the Central district court of Homel a hearing started on claims under the law suite from the head of Strategic Litigation Center Leanid Sudalenka to the State Treasury on compensation of moral damages for the failure of the State to satisfy the decisions of Human Rights Committee of the United Nations.

With the help of the Center for Strategic Litigation a public activist Uladzimir Shitsikau appealed to the UN Human Rights Committee, on the ban to conduct a peaceful event in the regional center on last year’s May 15, on the anniversary of the disappearance of the former interior minister, General Yuri Zakharenka.

The UN Committee on Human Rights registered a complaint from the coordinator of youth trade union of radio electronic industry (REI) Andrei Stryzhak who complained about Rechytsa officials’ ban of a picket on Independence Day, on last year’s July 3, about the state of the independent trade union movement in the country. This is the 151st complaint from Belarus registered in the United Nations.

May

Homel Center for Strategic Litigation has received a message from Geneva that the Human Rights Committee has made a decision on the complaint of Homel activist Andrei Aliashkevich who distributed leaflets about meeting a former presidential candidate Aliaksandr Milinkevich in 2008. Besides recognizing violation by the State to disseminate information, the UN Committee recommends the country to change national legislation and practice of its implementation so as not to violate the rights of citizens .

With the help of the Center for Strategic litigation the representative of the region trade union of REI Viktar Kazlou appealed the Human Rights Committee of the UN about the ban to conduct a rally on the occasion of the World Day of Trade Unions working for decent work in the regional center last year on October 7.

To the Central District Court of Homel a complaint was filed against the actions (inaction) of city officials, who had prohibited twenty pickets in the regional center planned by the activists of the United Civil Party (UCP) on the anniversary of the disappearance of their countryman, a former interior minister General Yuri Zakharenka. On all cases of prohibition of peaceful assemblies, filing collective complaints to the UN Human Rights Council is planned on behalf of Zinaida Shumilina.

June

With the help of the Center for Strategic Litigation the chairman of the Homel Regional organization of the Belarusian Left Party “Fair World” Uladzimir Siakerka appealed to the Human Rights Committee of the UN. He raised the question of violation of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression in connection with the Homel City Executive Committee’s ban of the peaceful rally in summer 2012.

With the help of the Center for Strategic Litigation Uladzimir Shitikau appealed to the Human Rights Committee of the UN. He believed that the Belarusian authorities violated rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, by persecuting him for placing flowers in the regional center on Freedom Day, on March 25, this year at the place where lived the member of the BNR Government Paluta Badunova.

Central District Court dismissed the complaint of Homel Belarusian Left Party “Fair World” to the actions of the Executive Committee of banning the rally on May 1, this year. With the help of the Center for Strategic Litigation a strategic litigation was initiated in this case.

July

With the help of the Center for Strategic Litigation Natalia Shchukin on her own behalf and on behalf of others (about two dozen people) appealed to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations about violation of their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.

Sentenced to death penalty Homel native Aliaksandr Hrunou through a lawyer handed the head of the Strategic Litigation Centre Leanid Sudalenka letter of attorney for the right to represent on his behalf the complaint to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations.

To Homel Executive Committee an appeal was filed to conduct on August 4, in the regional center, a street procession in support of the political prisoner human rights activist Ales Bialiatski. It was organized by the well-known public and political figure, Ph.D. in Technical Sciences, former People’s Deputy, Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council Yury Varonezhtsau, the head of the Center for Strategic Litigation Leanid Sudalenka and the representative of HRC “Viasna” in the region Anatol Paplauny.

August

The Human Rights Committee of the United Nations has registered a complaint from Hrodna activist Vital Lapasau, who has been punished by the authorities with a large administrative fine for participating in an unauthorized mass event in the village Yakushouka, Svislach area on October 27, last year, dedicated to perpetuating the participants of the uprising of 1863. Methodological assistance in preparing the complaint was provided by Homel Center for Strategic Litigation. This is the 153rd complaint from Belarus, registered in the United Nations.

With the help of the Center for Strategic Litigation representatives of the independent trade union of radio electronic industry (REI) in Homel region, Viktar Kazlou and the member of the union trade Council Anatol Paplauny appealed to the Executive Committee bid conduct a procession in the regional center, during which it was planned to express the protest against the Council of Ministers’ ruling, according to which payments for sick letters would be markedly reduced.

The Human Rights Committee of the United Nations has registered a complaint of the head of the Zhlobin district department of Left Party “Fair World” Valery Rybchanka on his illegal arrest in July 2011. Methodological assistance in preparing the complaint was provided by Homel Center for Strategic Litigation.

September

The representative of the Strategic Litigation Center Vasil Paliakou filed a complain to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations. He believed that the Belarusian authorities violated rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, by persecuting him for placing flowers in the regional center on Freedom Day, on March 25, this year at the place where lived the member of the BNR Government Paluta Badunova.

The House of Representatives of the National Assembly adopted changes in administrative law, where they took into account comments of Homel Center for Strategic Litigation. Earlier, the article on the administrative detention of individuals contained a discredited term “private person who has committed an offense”. Now, this rule sounds like “private person who is occused of committing an offense”.

With the help of the Center for Strategic Litigation, public figure Uladzimir Katsora sent an appeal to the prosecutor of Homel region and the head of MIA of Homel regional Executive Committee on police officers committing a criminal offense. On the way Homel-Minsk traffic militia officers from MIA of Homel regional Executive Committee caught up with a private vehicle and detained the delegates of Republic Conference on the coalition “For honest and fair elections, for a better life”.

October

With the help of the Center for Strategic Litigation the chairman of the Homel regional organization of the Belarusian Left Party “Fair World” Uladzimir Siakierka appealed to the Human Rights Committee of the UN. He wanted to get information about the causes about personal data being in the “list databases of law enforcement agencies”.

According to the complaint, prepared by the Homel Center for Strategic Litigation, judicial board on civil cases of the Homel Regional Court considered a private complaint of a public activist from Kalinkavichy, Tamara Zaitsava, and discharged the district court’s order, which denied her to prosecute local officials for a ban of a peaceful assembly.

With the help of the Center for Strategic Litigation activist Kanstanstin Zhukouski appealed to the Human Rights Committee of the UN. He believed that the Belarusian government had violated his right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression (Article 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) by banning a picket on the problem of demolition of a unique wooden building in the center of Homel.

November

Homel Center for Strategic Litigation received from Geneva an announcement about the Human Rights Committee of the UN decision on complaints from the activist of the Movement “For Freedom” and UCP Aliaksandr Protska and Andrey Tolchyn. International organization recognized that Belarusian authorities had violated the right to freedom of expression. UN Committee recommended Belarusian government to pay victims the costs and non-pecuniary damage, to restore their rights, as well as to bring the Law on Mass Events and practice of its implementation into compliance with international obligations.

In Mahilou together with representatives of Homel Centre for Strategic Litigation a roundtable “Strategic litigation as a method of human rights protection” have taken place. Roundtable participants discussed the specifics of strategic litigation, considered the most successful examples of conducting strategic affairs, when human rights defenders had achieved systemic changes in legal, social or political sphere of a country using judgments.

The UN Human Rights Committee has recognized that Belarusian authorities had violated the rights of the Chairman of the Homel regional organization of the Belarusian Left Party “Fair World” Uladzimir Siakerka to peaceful assembly, by banning a rally of protest against the abolition of benefits to the entire population of the country in December 2007. The cases in national courts and in the UN were led by Homel Center for Strategic Litigation.

December

With the help of the Center for Strategic Litigation a public activist Uladzimir Katsora reached initiation of proceedings in Rechytsa district court on refuse of Investigative Committee to initiate a criminal case against the inspectors of traffic militia of MIA Homel Regional Executive Committee on the involvement of the traffic militia officers into a political prosecution of opponents by the government.

Center for Strategic Litigation helped to make the appropriate application to the Homel City Executive Committee from the activist of the United Civil Party (UCP) Eduard Nelubovich to hold a street procession on December 21along the Soviet street of the regional center from Lenin Square to the department store “Homel” to show “solidarity with the Ukrainian people in their desire to live in the European Union”.

Center for Strategic Litigation helps the activist Uladzimir Shytsikau to appeal Homel Navabelitski district court of fine of 20 basic units for his participation in a rally in memory of the victims of Stalinist repressions, which was held in Homel on November 3.

Note: The Center for Strategic Litigation, which is headed by a lawyer and human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka and social and political activist Vasil Paliakou, has been operating in Homel for the past six years. The Center helps Belarusian citizens to assert their civil and political rights both domestically and in international institutions. During the activities of the Centre 17 victories were achieved in the Committee on Human Rights in favor of social and political activists, moreover there more than 40 individual reports from Belarusian citizens are registered, prepared with the participation and assistance of the Centre. In 2012, representatives of Brest, Hrodna and Vitsebsk, and in 2013 Mahilou regions joined the activities of the Centre.

By gomelspring.org
Prepared by Ales LETA
Belarusian Legal Portal
by.prava-by.info

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