Vitsebskers continue complaining to UN Human Rights Committee
The United Nations Human Rights
Committee registered a complaint of the Vitsebsk coordinator of the
organizing committee of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Tatsiana
Seviarynets. The reason for the appeal to the HRC became the verdict
of the Kastrychnitski District Court of Vitsebsk, issued 1.5 years
ago, according to which she had been found guilty of violating the
law on mass events and sentenced to a fine.
The matter is that in summer 2011 there was series of "silent protest" actions held by "Revolution through Social Networks". One of such actions took place on 3 July, the official Independence Day, in Vitsebsk. More than a hundred of citizens went along the central streets, clapping their hands, Tatsiana Seviarynets among them. After this, a joint prayer for Belarus was held. A week after it the judge Yauhen Birukou found Tatsiana Seviarynets guilty of organizing an unauthorized street rally and sentenced her to a fine.
According to Mrs. Seviarynets, Birukou's verdict is groundless, as far as there was no organized street rally which would require an official permission. None of the people who headed for the prayer walked on the carriage way, held any flags, posters or other agitation materials. At the same time, no laws prohibit walking on the pavements, clapping and praying.
Tatsiana Seviarynets appealed the verdict at higher courts. However, neither the Vitsebsk Region Court, nor the Supreme Court considered her arguments. As a result, she had to apply to the Human Rights Committee.