UN Human Rights Committee takes the side of the Vitsebsk pensioner activist
On 25 March 2008 Antanina Pivanos decided to
make a gift to the oppositionist Barys Khamaida – she brought him
an embroidery with words from the prayer "Our father".
On 25 March, the Freedom Day, she took the embroidery in her hands and went to the "Blue House", the place where Mr. Khamaida usually distributes independent press.
The same day she was tried at the Chyhunachny District Court of Vitsebsk and sentenced to a fine for "unauthorized picketing". The police considered the embroidery with the words as an opposition poster. The defendant tried to convince the judge that one does not need a permission from the authorities to make a present. Nevertheless, the trial ended with confiscation of the embroidery and punishing her with a fine.
More than 4 years have passed since Anatanina Pivanos' complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee. The Committee issued a positive decision on her case. According to it, Article 19 of the Covenant of Civil and Political Rights was violated towards her. According to part 2 of this article, citizens of the countries which ratified the Covenant (including Belarus) have the right to free expression of their views. This right of the Vitsebsk citizen was violated by the authorities.
In the photos: Antanina Pivanos with her embroydery