Anatol Paplauny reports UN Human Rights Committee about unlawful punishment
Anatol Paplauny, a Homel human rights defender who had received administrative punishment for participation in the Chain of Concerned People, an action dedicated to commemoration of the missing public and political activists and support to their families and political prisoners, passed an individual communication to the UN Human Rights Committee in connection with violation by Belarus of his rights to fair trial and freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
'The court didn't let a professional lawyer, Leanid Sudalenka, to represent my interests at the trial, though he was present there and was ready to do it. This fact is a serious violation of my right to fair trial,' states Mr. Paplauny. 'Moreover, by determining one place for mass events in Homel and obliging their organizers to conclude the agreements for paid services provided by the police, medics and he public utilities, the authorities put to doubt the very essence of the rights that are guaranteed to everyone by Articles 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.'
Analogical individual communications were passed to the UN Human Rights Committee by other participants of the actions that had taken place on 7 May 2009 opposite the building of the Homel Region Police Department to mark the 10th anniversary of the abduction of a former Minister of Interior, Yury Zakharanka. Four participants of the action, including Mr. Paplauny, Piatro Kuzniatsou, Vasil Paliakou and Yury Zakharanka (a cousin of the missing person) were sentenced to large fines for violation of the rules of organizing mass events, while the fifth, Uladzimir Katsora, was sentenced to three days of arrest.
The authors of the individual communications hope that the UN Human Rights Committee will recommend the Belarusian government to put the national law On Mass Events in the Republic of Belarus in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.