UH Human Rights Committee admits violation of Homel resident’s rights
On 26 December, Leanid Sudalenka, the leader of the Homel-based Strategic Trials Center, received a reply from the UN Human Rights Committee, saying the rights of local resident Mrs. Marya Tulzhankova were violated by the Belarusian government.
Marya Tulzhankova is trying to contest the decisions by a number of Belarusian courts that sentenced her to a 350,000-rouble fine for distributing leaflets on the eve of the 90th anniversary of the formation of the Belarusian People’s Republic in March 2008. As a result, she was detained and charged with violating the procedures for conducting mass events.
The lady says neither the police nor the courts attempted to discover the reasons why the limitation of her right to free dissemination of information could be one of the legitimate objectives under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
“The Committee concludes that the rights of Marya Tulzhankova provided by Art. 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights were violated by the state. Therefore, the Belarusian government should provide the lady with an effective legal remedy, including the coverage of the fine, expenses of court procedure, as well as compensation of the damage. The state should take measures preventing violations of citizens’ rights to free receipt and dissemination of information in the future”, says Mr. Sudalenka.
Over the past two years, Strategic Trials Center has drafted 50 individual complaints for submission to the Un Human Rights Committee; 32 of them have already been registered; six complaints have been granted by the Committee.