17 January 2018, Wednesday, 1:49

Human rights activists demand publicity over Haidukou’s case


Belarusian human rights organizations demand publicity and the observance of all the procedural guarantees for the political prisoner Andrei Haidukou.

Below is the text of the joint statement by the human rights center Viasna and Belarusian Helsinki Committee cited in full:

“As it became known from the relatives of Andrei Haidukou, kept in custody on the accusation of a crime according to the part 1 of the article 356 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (state treason by the means of agent’s activities), there were severe violations of his rights in the course of the investigation of the criminal case. Particularly, Andrei Haidukou was repeatedly denied to see a lawyer, and his relatives – to have the information about the location of the accused.

It is worth mentioning that the right for unhindered and confidential communication with one’s lawyer, with no limitations of their frequency and time, is guaranteed to the citizens by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and also by the respective norms of the current national legislation – the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus.

In 2011 in the final remarks on the 4th regular reports of the Republic of Belarus the UN Committee Against Torture expressed a serious concern over the multiple data that the detained are often denied their basic rights, including a lawyer, the right for the contact with the family (CAT/C/SR.1053). The Committee Against Torture recommended the state to ensure legislatively as well as in practice that all the detained the access to the basic legal guarantees, including an immediate access to a lawyer,

We are also very concerned about the practice of influencing lawyers by the means of an oath of secrecy that lawyers are made to take. This practice has been widespread recently and applied in Haidukou’s case. The oath is interpreted unlawfully broadly. As the result, a lawyer is deprived of the possibility to inform the public about the essence of the accusations, possible procedural violations, concerning the rights of the clients, about their health condition and other similar information.  In our opinion, such an approach limits the right of the people in custody for protection and also deprives the public of a possibility to acquire the information, which concerns public interests.

Considering the nature of the accusations put forward against Andrei Haidukou, we are calling on the competent agencies of the Republic of Belarus to ensure the proper protection of his right according to the legislation of the Republic of Belarus as well as to its international obligations in the course of the criminal investigation of the case. People, guilty of such violations, must be held responsible respectively.

We are also calling on to ensure that the public is informed about the course of the investigations and the necessary publicity of the future court proceedings is ensured”.