16 July 2019, Tuesday, 0:08
We are in the same boat

“I Participated In Spontaneous Rally, Holding White-Red-White Flag”


An activist from Barysau appealed to the UN against a large fine for solidarity with the REP Trade Union.

Aliaksandr Abramovich, an activist from Barysau, who has been fined for solidarity with the REP Trade Union, on October 18, filed a complaint with the UN Committee on Human Rights. The man believes that the Belarusian authorities violated his rights to a peaceful assembly and expression of opinion, Homel Viasna writes.

His attempts to cancel the large fine (1225 rubles) at the national level have not brought success – the Minsk City Court, where he appealed against the fine, took the side of the authorities.

In his individual complaint to the Human Rights Committee, the complainant notes that the imposed fine exceeds twice the average monthly salary in the country, and that the punishment itself is disproportionate to the offense.

“Even if I took part in a spontaneous rally, holding a white-red-white flag, state agents were obliged to evaluate my actions based primarily on our country's international obligations in the field of human rights, namely, to prove the feasibility of the restrictions imposed on my rights,” – Aliaksandr Abramovich says.

Human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka notes that after the verdict to trade union leaders Hennadz Fiadynich and Ihar Komlik was announced, a peaceful gathering near the House of Justice in Minsk spontaneously emerged.

“The national law in general does not provide for the procedure for conducting spontaneous assemblies, as in this case. Therefore, any spontaneous assembly a priori is considered illegal in our country. However, this is not the main problem. The main problem in our country today is complete disregard of basic human rights on the part of the judiciary,” – the lawyer emphasizes.

We remind that on August 24, after the announcement of the verdict in the case of the REP trade union leaders, near the building of the House of Justice, where the trial was taking place, activists and citizens, who were present there, held a rally in support of the independent trade union. The activist of the trade union unfurled a white-red-white flag, other participants were holding flags of the REP trade union and European Belarus. After about 10 minutes, a red bus with riot police arrived, the active protesters were detained.

Aliaksandr Abramovich asks the UN Committee to establish the fact of violation of his right to peaceful assembly and expression and to recommend the Belarusian government to bring the national law on mass events in line with international obligations.