Justice Department fails to address violations by Salihorsk Court
A new way to counter those wishing to complain to the UN Human Rights Committee is beginning to be applied in practice.
Andrei Tychyna, activist of the Young Front movement from the town of Salihorsk, received a reply from the Chief Department of Justice of Minsk Region Executive Committee to his complaint lodged after Salihorsk District Court failed to issue a copy of ruling by Minsk Regional Court.
The young man says the answer is nonsense and another attempt by the authorities to prevent him from fighting for the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.
“It will soon be a year since I’ve sought the restoration of my rights violated by the ban in May 2012 of a cycling tour in support of the white-red-white flag and the national coat of arms,” says Andrei Tychyna. “The ban was appealed at Salihorsk District Court and then at Minsk Regional Court. The latest sitting was held in August, but so far I haven’t received any court ruling.”
In search of the truth the Young Front activist appealed to the Chief Department of Justice of Minsk Region Executive Committee. In his complaint to the head of the institution, the young man pointed out that non-issuance of a ruling by Minsk Regional Court deprived him of the right to complain to the UN Human Rights Committee. However, the answer surprised even most experienced human rights defenders.
“The answer is about what was not asked, while the things the complaint requested are directly ignored,” comments Leanid Markhotka, Salihorsk representative of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee. “It’s either a sign of absolute professional incompetence of the staff of the Justice Department, which I still doubt, or a deliberate action to prevent the submission of another complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee.”
As noted by the BHC representatives, the case is quite a hazardous precedent, but it’s too early to talk about the systemic nature of such obstacles.
Andrei Tychyna says he is going to appeal the response by the Justice Department at the Ministry of Justice. Apart from that, the Young Front activist promises to submit a complaint to the Prosecutor’s Office to bring to justice all those involved in delaying the case.