Violent dispersal and detentions of participants of Gay Pride in Minsk are violation of right to freedom of peaceful assembly and manifestation of discrimination
Statement by the Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’
On 15 May 2010, representatives of the Interior Ministry violently dispersed a peaceful demonstration of LGBT community activists. The Minsk city authorities banned the event due to a formal reason and failed to provide an opportunity to hold the demonstration in a different place, which would suit both sides.
Therefore, the Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’ considers the actions by the Belarusian authorities a violation of the demonstrators’ Constitutional rights, as well as the international human rights standards.
The Belarusian Constitution guarantees every citizen’s freedom of beliefs and their free expression, as well as the freedom of peaceful assembly, demonstrations and pickets. The Constitution prohibits any form of discrimination of citizens.
The freedom of peaceful assembly and the inadmissibility of any form of discrimination are enshrined in Art. 22 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. These commitments were undertaken by the Republic of Belarus.
The Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’ once again calls on the Belarusian authorities to show respect for human rights and secure the freedom of peaceful assembly and free expression, without any discrimination, including sexual discrimination.
The Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’ would also like to stress that such actions by the authorities do not contribute to the reduction of homophobia in the Belarusian society.
We demand to immediately release all the participants of the demonstration detained by the police.
Minsk, 17 May 2010