17 July 2019, Wednesday, 8:26
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Belarusian Authorities Comment On Complaint Of Voiceless Man Who ‘Shouted’ In UN

VIKTAR KAZLOU
PHOTO: RADIO SVABODA

A 70-year-old man who lost his voice after the surgery protects his rights in Geneva.

The Government of Belarus responded to the complaint of representative of the independent trade union REP in the Homel region Viktar Kazlou, registered with the UN Human Rights Committee (# 3308/2019). At the international level, Belarusian officials stated that the complaint was unacceptable, since the applicant did not appeal against the court ruling in the prosecutorial instances, writes gomelspring.org.

A 70-year-old man who lost his voice after an oncologic surgery protects in Geneva his right not to be subjected to arbitrary detention and arrest, the right to a fair trial, to express his opinion and to have a peaceful meeting. The independent trade union failed to find the protection of rights within the country; the courts, including the Supreme Court, believed three riot policemen, questioning the doctors' conclusions that the victim, after removing part of the lung, not only could not possibly shout, but could speak in a whisper in everyday life.

Important to note, riot policemen detained Viktar Kazlou in the morning of March 25, 2017 in the village of Tserashkovichy, when he was heading for Homel to participate in the “Non-Parasites March 2.0”. They took him to the regional police department, from there he was preventively sent to the detention facility, where he was held behind bars for two days before the trial. The riot police in the reports wrote that they were guarding public order, and the man obscenely swore in the street, did not react to the comments, tried to escape, tried to grab them by their uniform.

“I cannot speak normally after the surgery, even in a whisper, how come I shouted loudly? The riot policemen perjured in court, got confused in own testimonies. It was a purposeful action to detain me in order to prevent my presence on March 25 at the site at the Vipra recreation center where the rally was held,” the union representative recalls the events of spring 2017.

Viktar Kazlou notes that using international mechanisms, he wants to draw attention to the vicious practice established in Belarus, when, on the eve of the actions of the discontented, they are preventively detained by police officers, the police perjure, accusing them of hooliganism and disobedience. As a result, he, for example, spent more than two days under arrest before the trial (51 hours), and the court imposed a fine on him. The question of arbitrary detention and arrest in such cases remains without judicial assessment.

According to human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka, who deals with this case at the UN Human Rights Committee, the Belarusian authorities left without comment the arguments of the complaint, why and for what purposes the representative of the trade union was arrested on the eve of the peaceful meeting. The jurisprudence of the UN Human Rights Committee does not require passing the prosecutorial instances,to which the Belarusian side referred.