2015 10/01

The UN Committee on Human Rights published a decision on the appeal № 1987/2010, adopted at the 112th session of the Committee. According to this decision, the Republic of Belarus as a country – party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights recognizes the rights violator activist Anatoly Stambrovski provided for in paragraph 2 of article 19 of the Covenant.

In his mourning HRC Anatoly Stambrovski claimed that he is a victim of violations by Belarus of his rights. April 3, 2009 he wanted to hold pickets in the pedestrian zone at the intersection of two streets of Vitebsk in order to attract public attention to the violation of the legislation by the authorities. However, Vitebsk city executive committee for holding a picket banned.

Executive committee noted that holding a picket allegedly infringed would Traffic, order the movement of people, public safety and order. In a ban picketing was also noted that the proposed activist its venue is NOT included in the list of allowed for mass events places while according to the decision Mingorispolkom social events can be carried out only in a few specifically designated areas in Vitebsk.

Anatoly Stambrovski appealed the decision to ban picketing in Oktyabrsky district court of Vitebsk, arguing that the City Council had violated his constitutional right to freedom of expression. Activist tried to prove that the reason for the ban pickets, which supposedly would prevent road traffic, are spurious and illegitimate, as one man standing in the pedestrian zone on the corner, hardly would have done that.

However, the district court did not listen to the arguments and activist, referring to the fact that the decision of Minsk City Executive Committee Vitebsk relevant provisions of the Republic of Belarus “On mass events”, mourning left without satisfaction. Jacobi then correctness of this decision the court of October district of Vitebsk Vitebsk Regional Court confirmed, which filed a cassation and oversight of mourning, and the Supreme Court, which also supplied mourning according to the procedure of supervisory review. Thus, the courts have recognized that the provisions of the Law “On mass events” are the de facto superior to the constitutional norm according to which every citizen has the right to freedom of expression.

The Human Rights Committee, which eventually complained Vitebsk activist, tried several times to get the Belarusian authorities observations on the mourning. But Belarusian Willis refused to provide such explanations. They only said that mourning Stambrovski should not have to register committee, as the author appeals to the committee allegedly failed to exhaust all available remedies in the country, comprising feeding etc. The Prosecutor’s Office an application for supervisory review of the decision, which came into force.

When communicating with the HRC Belarusian authorities noted that messages Stambrowski and other reports were registered Jacobi etc. Violation of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and therefore any decision taken by the Committee with respect to these reports will be considered invalid. Belarusian Willis also stated that they were not obliged to accept the rules of procedure of the HRC and the explanation of them the Optional Protocol and that the reference to the Committee, which has long been established, are NOT legal for him justified.

In the judgment Stambrowski HRC separately commented Belarus’ refusal to cooperate with the Committee:

The Committee recalls that, in accordance with paragraph 2 of article 39 of the Covenant, he has the right to determine its own rules of procedure, which States parties have agreed to accept. It further notes that, by virtue of accession to the Optional Protocol, a State – party to the Covenant recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals who claim to be victims of violations of any of the rights contained in the Covenant (Preamble and article 1 of the Optional Protocol) . Of acceding to the Optional Protocol should be the duty of States cooperate in good faith with the Committee so that it could consider such communications, and after the study to guide its position that the State party and the person concerned (paragraphs 1 and 4 of Article 5). Since these obligations are incompatible any action of the State party that will interfere with or obstruct the committee to review and study of the message as well as in the formulation of its position. The Committee is authorized to determine whether to log the message. The Committee notes that, without recognizing its jurisdiction in this matter and stating in advance that it will not accept the Committee’s decision on admissibility and merits, the State party in breach of its obligations under Article 1 of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights “.

Despite the objections of the Belarusian authorities, the committee considered mourning Stambrovski acceptable and considered it on the merits. Consideration of the result is as follows: “The State party has not submitted any comments on the merits of the communication … Local Willis States Parties to prohibit the author of messages carrying pickets April 3, 2009, thus limiting its right to distribute its views on the activities of the authorities of the State party. .. National authorities have not explained how during the pickets in the pedestrian zone author can disturb traffic, the procedure for the movement of people, public safety and order in place guidelines and restrictions as the author’s rights provided for by article 19 of the Covenant, justified paragraph 3 of Article 19 of the Covenant. Under these circumstances, and in view of the fact that the State party has not received any information on this issue in support of the imposition of restrictions to the body referred to in paragraph 3 of article 19 of the Covenant, the Committee concludes that the author’s rights provided for in paragraph 2 of Article 19 of the Covenant have been violated. ”

Now the Belarusian authorities must ensure Anatoly Stambrovski effective remedy, turn on reimbursement of legal costs and compensation. According to the decision, the HR Committee to ensure the full implementation of the country’s rights under article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Belarus should revise domestic legislation. Also, the state is obliged to take measures to prevent the commission of similar violations in the future.

The decision to accept the UN Committee on Human Rights Anatoly Stambrovski mourning, – not only in the number of such. Over the past few years the HRC found dozens of cases of human rights violations in Belarus. Most often Belarusians complain of violations by Belarus of article 19 of the Covenant, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression and dissemination of information. However, the Belarusian Willis, despite the commitments made by the State with its international obligations, stubbornly refusing to implement the decisions of the committee. Will it be something now, and fulfill the requirements of the committee whether Willis at this time?


Stambrovsky v. Belarus CCPR/C/112/D/1987/2010 (en.)

Quoting dyjalog.info
Prepared by Ales LETA,
Belarusian Legal Portal.

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