16 June 2019, Sunday, 9:03
We are in the same boat

Uladzimir Niapomniashchykh: I Want To Remind You Of Situation With Freedom Of Speech In Belarus


A democrat from Homel brought to the UN's notice the information about blocking independent sites.

Uladzimir Niapomniashchykh, a Homel activist of the United Civil Party (UCP), received a message from the UN Committee on Human Rights notifying that his complaint (case No. 3234/2018) was registered. The party member will file a complaint with the international instance against the ban imposed by the Belarusian authorities on holding a protest picket in Homel against blocking the Belarusian Partizan web site, the Homel office of the HRC Viasna informs.

Niapomniashchykh intended to hold a protest action in December 2017, but the Homel City Executive Committee did not allow to hold it. The court, where this decision was appealed, took the side of the city executive committee. The regional court also did not satisfy the oppositionist's complaint.

“During the picket, we wanted to remind the citizens not only of the blocking of the site that the authorities did not like, but also about the situation with freedom of speech in the country as a whole. Unfortunately, the Belarusian government does not hear and does not want to hear the civil society,” – Uladzimir Niapomniashchykh said.

The applicant considers that the state, and in particular the Homel City Executive Committee, violates the fundamental rights of citizens – the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression of opinion provided for in Articles 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

He also points out that in Homel, where 500 thousands live, the authorities have dedicated only a few places for pickets and rallies. These sites are far from the city center and the organizers must also pay for ambulance and public utilities.

“The government does not fulfill international obligations to ensure civil and political rights, since the national legislation on mass events contains ambiguous and vague norms that can be interpreted and are interpreted in various ways. In practice, this situation leads to an actual taboo on the freedom of peaceful assembly and expression in the country,” – the human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka, who defends human rights at the international level, commented on the complaint.

According to him, this is already the 288th complaint filed by the Belarusian citizens to the UN Committee on Human Rights since 1992, when Belarusians received the right to complain about the violation of rights individually at the international level.

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