UN admits use of torture against under-age person by Belarusian police

2011 2011-01-10T17:25:49+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The UN Human Rights Committee recorded infringement of civil rights of minor convicted dweller of Homel in the course of proceedings.

As said by human rights activist Raman Kisliak, Hanna Kareba, mother of the convict, filed an individual complaint to the Committee on 10 December 2004. Her 17-year-old son Dzmitry was detained on 17 September 2001, on suspicion of killing a man, whose body was found with numerous stab wounds in the yard of secondary school #2 on 24 May 24, 2001, Belorusskiye Novosti informs.

On 5 April 2002, the judicial board for criminal cases of the Homel Region Court found Dzmitry guilty of committing an especially cruel murder and repeated attempted theft and sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

Mother of the convicted wrote in the complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee that her son had been threatened, humiliated and beaten by police officers who wanted him to admit the murder. He succumbed to pressure and gave the confession, which he rejected later.

Mrs. Kareba noted in the complaint that her minor son had been kept in a cell with adults in the temporary detention facility for 11 days. Moreover, he was interrogated without a lawyer, a legal representative or a social care teacher; during the trial, the young man wasn’t allowed to put questions to one of the main witnesses for prosecution, whose personality was kept in secret from the trial participants.

‘The Committee admitted the following violations in relation to Dmitry: the prohibition on torture and cruel treatment; the presumption of innocence; the right of a minor to be kept apart from adults in a cell; the right to question witnesses who give evidence against him; and the right not to give evidence against himself,’ said Mr. Kisliak. According to him, it’s a rather rare case when the Committee agrees to consider violation of children’s rights.