Vasil Paliakou applies to UN Human Rights Committee concerning his arrest
On 4 May the
vice-head o the United Civil Party and chairman of the Homel
regional organization of the UCP Vasil Paliakou applied to the UN Human Rights
Committee. The politician believes that the Belarusian authorities violated
Article 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(the right to freedom of information and of peaceful assembly) by sentencing
him to arrest for organizing the People’s Assembly.
On the eve of the National Assembly, 9 October 2011, the court found him guilty of violating Article 23.34 of the Code (violation of the order of holding mass events), and punished him with five days of arrest. Vasil Paliakou kept a hunger-strike during the whole time of the arrest. He didn’t agree with the court verdict and appealed against it in the higher courts - the regional court and the Supreme Court. However, his appeals were turned down.
In his address to the UN Committee the politician recalled that the National Assembly was held in accordance with the law "On national and local assemblies", whereas the court charged him with violation of the Law “On mass events”.
"The police had no legal right to qualify my actions according to the norms of the law "On mass events ", since these actions for the dissemination of printed materials calling for participation in the local assembly are governed by the law "On national and local assemblies". My right to freedom of peaceful assembly was restricted. However, neither the police, nor the court explained the reasons,” comments Vasil Paliakou.
He considers that Article 8 of the Law "On mass events" restricts freedom of information and fails to meet the international obligations of the Republic of Belarus, as far as it is not motivated by interests of state or civil security, protection of public order, health or rights and interests of others.
Vasil Paliakou asks the Committee to consider his complaint, recognize the fact of violation of his right guaranteed by Articles 19 and 21 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by the state, and advise Belarus to bring norms of the Law “On mass events” in line with international obligations.