Court turns down appeal of human rights defender Aleh Hulak
The head of the
human rights organization "Belarusian Helsinki Committee" Aleh Hulak
insisted that the court recognized as illegal the actions of the Ministry of
Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice as a result of which he was
prohibited to leave the country. Representatives
of the ministries didn’t recognize the complaint and asked the court not to
During the court debates floor was taken by Aleh Hulak, his representative – human rights activist Hary Pahaniaila, a representative of the Ministry of Justice who didn’t introduce himself and a representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Aliaksei Biahun, head of the Department of Citizenship and Migration Department.
Before the court debate, the representative of the Ministry of Justice Viktar Zelau presented the court with two references, and the representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs provided information about the correction of the “technical failure” in the information system database.
Aliaksei Biahun said it was proprietary information and asked the court not to disclose it. As a result, only the judge, Aleh Hulak and his representative were familiarized with it.
Aleh Hulak said that all evidence was presented that the authorities illegally placed him in the database, and limited his right to leave. He noted that although the court could not determine exactly who did it, but even the Ministry of the Interior acknowledged that it was done.
Mr. Hulak said that that there were no legal reasons to restrict his right to travel was not, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice shall be responsible for their actions. The BHC chairman also stated that the error wasn’t fixed in a reasonable time and he spent 5 months before his surname was deleted from the database.
According to the human rights defender, it was done for discriminatory reasons. He stated that another 17 people who are known for their political opposition activities, human rights activists, lawyers and journalists, were also included in this list because of the “technical failure”.
He proposed to attach the list of the 17 persons who have been banned from traveling abroad to the case materials. However, the judge refused to do it because of objections of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice.
Human rights activist Hary Pahaniaila noted that the fact that Aleh Hulak had been put in the database of restricted to travel abroad and then was deleted from this database was legally established, which is admitted by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Thus, he considered that the guilt of these agencies was proved and asked the court to grant Hulak’s claim against them.
After this, short speeches were delivered by representatives of the ministries. The representative of the Ministry of Justice stated that if Mr. Hulak had been put on the list of those who were banned to travel abroad he wouldn’t have been deleted from it. The representative of the Ministry of Justice, in its turn, denied that the Ministry had provided any information about Aleh Hulak and that it had any database of opposition politicians.
Aliaksei Biahun confessed during the debate that there was a “technical failure”, after which Aleh Hulak was included in the database of the people who were temporary prohibited to leave the country. According to Biahun, there are about 100 000 people in this list and only 50 were included in it by mistake, which allegedly witnesses the effectiveness of the system. The representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that as a result of complaints Aleh Hulak had been deleted from the database. Thanks to it the system has been repaired and works properly.