The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights House Foundation consider the decision to expel Ms. Khoma from the University as politically motivated, and a totally disproportional reaction against a senior student.

2005 2005-12-01T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Minister of Education of the Republic of Belarus,
Aleksandr Mihailovich Radkov
9 Sovetskaya Str.
220010 Minsk
Republic of Belarus
Fax: + 375 17 22 64 975
Oslo, November 30, 2005

Your Excellency,

The Human Rights House Foundation and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee strongly condemns the expulsion of Taciana Khoma from Belarus State Economic University (BSEU) last Friday, November 25. As we have learned the official reason for her expulsion was that Ms Khoma did not report her travel to the National Unions of Students in Europe (ESIB) meeting in Reims, France at 11-13 November, beforehand. The decision was taken without any warning to Ms Khoma and that she was also forced to leave the dormitory within hours of being expelled from the University.

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights House Foundation consider the decision to expel Ms. Khoma from the University as politically motivated, and a totally disproportional reaction against a senior student.

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights House Foundation have no access to the internal rules and regulations Ms. Khoma is accused of having violated. However, according to the article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, anyone has the right to leave any country, including her own, and to return to it. Any limitations on this right can only be exercised in accordance with law and when they are considered absolutely necessary in a democratic society. On the basis of this, the BSEU administration, while stating the personal security of Ms. Khoma as the reason for why leaving the country has caused an offence against internal University rules, clearly fails to justify the expulsion of the young student.

Moreover, Ms Khoma right to study is protected by the International Covenant on Economic and Social and Cultural Rights, after which she has the right to a higher education on a non-discriminatory basis. Expelling a senior student who has proved an academic merit because she has travelled abroad can only be viewed upon as a discrimination based on assumptions on her political opinions.

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights House Foundation therefore ask you to annul the unlawful decision to expel Ms Taciana Khoma made by the BSEU administration.

Maria Dahle Bjørn Engesland

Executive Director General Secretary
Human Rights House Foundation Norwegian Helsinki Committee

CC:
Norwegian Studentunion (NSU)
The National Unions of Students in Europe (ESIB)
OSCE, Minsk
Belarusian State Economic University
UN Special Reporter for Belarus
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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