Homel human rights defenders appeal freedom of assembly abuse at UN Human Rights Committee
On 27 February, Homel human rights defenders Anatol Paplauny and Leanid Sudalenka submitted a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee, arguing that their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly were violated by Belarus.
On 22 November 2010, the human rights defenders applied for holding a picket marking International Human Rights Day. However, the event was banned by Homel executive authorities. The ban was later upheld by a number of courts, including the Supreme Court.
In their complaint, Anatol Paplauny and Leanid Sudalenka stress that the authorities of the city, which has a population of around 500,000, authorized only one location for holding mass events. Moreover, Homel residents have to pay for holding pickets.
The human rights defenders believe that the Belarusian authorities have failed to implement their international commitments, as the Mass Events Code contains ambiguous and vague provisions.
Anatol Paplauny and Leanid Sudalenka urge the Committee to recommend the Belarusian government to bring the national legislation on mass events in line with the country’s international commitments.