2014 05/02

Siarhei Housha

Human rights activist Siarhei Housha wrote a letter to the Constitutional Court (CC) of the Republic of Belarus. He reports that the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations (hereinafter HRC Committee) adopted two positive decision on his appeals.

In both cases, the Committee considers that the State violated the rights of Siarhei Housha enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 22 in the first case and Art. 19 and 21 in the second). Each time the Committee determined certain measures which were to have been taken by the State to redress.

Unfortunately, in both cases the state has not taken any steps to implement the Committee’s Views . That’s why Mr. Housha twice applied to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), which coordinates and monitors the conclusion and implementation of international treaties. And in both cases, human rights activist got a negative result. “Most unfortunate”, says the human rights activist, “is the position of the Foreign Ministry, which, according to the responses received can be summarized as follows – the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), does not impose on the state any international legal obligations, and the Committee’s views are advisory and reflect personal opinion of members of the HRC”.

Siarhei Housha considers this conclusion of the MFA erroneous and incompatible with the Belarusian Constitution and international legal obligations. Despite the fact that neither the Covenant nor the Optional Protocol contain any provisions directly determining the significance for the State parties of the Committee’s Views, Mr. Housha believes that this does not exempt the Republic of Belarus from the faithful implementation of the Committee’s views under voluntarily adopted international legal obligations.

Mr. Housha argues that the Republic of Belarus, being independent and equal participant in international relations, proclaiming itself a democratic state ruled by law, must fulfill a recognized principle of international law “pacta sunt servanda” (agreements must be observed) .

Other behavior of the state indicates that the Republic of Belaurs fails to implement its obligation
under Art. 23 of the Constitution, to guarantee the citizens rights and freedoms stipulated by the international obligations of Belarus, and deprives of any sense Art . 61 of the Constitution guaranteeing the right of everyone in accordance with international legal acts appeal to international organizations for the protection of their rights and freedoms after exhausting all domestic remedies.

Therefore, human rights activist Siarhei Housha requests the Constitutional Court to consider his appeal in exercise of the right to make proposals to the President of the Republic of Belarus, the chambers of the National Assembly of Belarus, the Council of Ministers of Belarus and other public bodies about the need to make amendmends and supplements to legal acts, adopting new legal acts, and apply to the competent public authority with a proposal to bring the national legislation in line with the international obligations of the Republic of Belarus.

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