Belarusian MFA ignores decision of UN Human Rights Committee
Ales Bialiatski, the chairman of the board of the Human Rights Center Viasna that was liquidated in October 2003, received an answer from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to his recent inquiry. He asked the MFA to explain what measures had been taken for implementation of the ruling of the UN Human Rights Committee concerning registration of Viasna.
Bear in mind that Human Rights Center Viasna was liquidated by the Supreme Court on 28 October 2003. Considering such verdict to be a violation of the freedom of association and having not received the appropriate legal defense at the national level, ten founders of the organization lodged individual applications to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations Organization.
On 24 July 2007 the UN Human Rights Committee adopted Views on the individual communication #1296/2004, The Committee thinks that the information it possesses confirms the fact of violation of Article 22, point 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by a member country. The committee concluded that according to Article 2, paragraph 2(a) the author and the co-authors are entitled to an appropriate remedy, including the re-registration of Viasna and compensation.
2. To take the appropriate measures within the competence of the MFA for implementation of the aforementioned Views and the international undertakings of the Republic of Belarus under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the optional protocol to it.
‘The Belarusian government did not implement the demand of the UN Human Rights Committee despite the fact that Belarus is a member of the UNO. We addressed the MFA with a question why it wasn’t done,’ stated Ales Bialiatski.
According to paragraph 5.11 of the Ruling of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, adopted by ruling of the Soviet of Ministers #978 of 31 July 2006, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is charged with the control of implementation of the international undertakings of the Republic of Belarus by the state organs of the Republic of Belarus and rendering assistance in implementation of international treaties by the Republic of Belarus.
Being guided by it, A.Bialiatski in his application asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
1. to present information about the measures that were taken by the ministry for implementation of the Views of the UN Human Rights Committee (communication #1296/2004) of 24 July 2007;
Mr. Bialiatski received an answer signed by the first deputy minister of foreign affairs I.Petryshenka. He says that the most interesting place of the answer is in its last paragraph, where it is written: ‘What concerns implementation of the undertakings of the Republic Belarus under the Optional protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966, we take into consideration that the views of the UN Human Rights Committee are recommendative.’
‘Thus the MFA does not consider the decision of the UN Human Rights Committee obligatory for implementation and, pitifully enough, is not going to implement it. To my mind, it is an act of disrespect to the UN from the side of the Belarusian government,’ concluded Mr. Bialiatski.