Human rights activist Ales Bialiatski addresses Belarusian Foreign Minister
‘I, Ales Bialiatski, am Chair of the Council of the Public Association Human Rights Center Viasna, closed down by verdict of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus of 28 October 2003.
Considering the decision of the Supreme Court a violation of the freedom of association and having failed to receive an adequate remedy on the national level, ten founders of the Public Association Human Rights Center Viasna used their constitutional right and submitted an individual complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee.
On 24 July 2007 the UN Human Rights Committee adopted a communication on the complaint (No. 1296/2004).
According to the observations by the Committee, the State Party violated Article 22(1) of the 1966 UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Committee concluded that under Article 2 paragraph 3(a) of the Covenant ‘the co-authors of the complaint were entitled to an appropriate remedy, including the re-registration of Viasna and that Belarus was under an obligation to take steps to prevent similar violations occurring in the future.’
It should be observed that as of the date of the submission of the application the Belarusian authorities had failed to take any legal measures aimed at the rehabilitation of the violated rights.
At the same time, it would be recalled that having joined the Optional Protocol the State Party thereby recognized the right of the Committee to determine whether the Covenant were violated or not, as well as the fact that under Article 2 of the Covenant the State Party undertook ‘to ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity.’
Apart from that, the obligation of the State Party to observe the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, along with the Committee’s Observations, is implied by Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.
Under paragraph 5.11 of the Regulations on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, approved by Decree #978 of 31 July 2006 of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs undertakes to exercise control over the implementation of the international treaties of the Republic of Belarus by state bodies of the Republic of Belarus and assist the implementation of the international treaties of the Republic of Belarus.
Considering the above-stated facts, I demand:
- to provide information on the measures taken by the Ministry to implement the Observation by the UN Human Rights Committee (Communication #1296/2004) of 24 July 2007;
- within the competence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take measures aimed at the implementation of the above-mentioned Observation and the international obligations undertaken by the Republic of Belarus, following the ratification of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocol to the Covenant.