Aleh Volchak files complaint to UN Human Rights Committee
The complaint concerns two short jail terms the human rights defender had to serve in 2012 in the Center for Isolation of Offenders at 36 Akrestsin Street, www.protivpytok.org reports.
Aleh Volchak explains, “When I was in the detention center, I talked to many prisoners. Basically those were plain people, who had started a drunken brawl with their wives, someone stole a trifle from a store, someone was taken to fill the monthly plan on administrative charges, and there were a lot of random people, who might have not been subjected to an arrest. But what united us were the appalling conditions of detention. It was horrible – cold, dirty, sleeping in the clothes on the boards, lack of proper drinking water, stiffness of the air, etc. One prisoner said that thanks to the BPF leaders the prison administration separated a faucet for hand washing from the toilet bowl. And then I set myself a goal to try to change this Stalinist system, when the man was in worse conditions than domestic cattle under a good master. So I started urging the officials to close for repairs the Center for the Isolation of Offenders. And after several major efforts, I succeeded. I should pay tribute to the authorities, too, that major repairs will be started in the year of frugality. I always urge people to fight for our rights, no one will change anything unless we become active citizens of our state. This is another joint victory of human rights defenders to create proper conditions for the citizens serving administrative arrest.”
But the closing of the Detention Center for repairs is not the ultimate goal of the human rights defender. Despite this achievement, he has not been able to prove that the conditions of detention while serving detention are inhuman, because the courts do not take his complaints about the violation of human rights into consideration. Changing the law – that is what Aleh Volchak is trying to achieve. He tried to defend his rights at the national level, but without success? A huge number of complaints, “formal replies” from representatives of the “rule of law” in our country, and wasted nerves, strength and health – this is what one can achieve our country, but not justice!
By his complaint Aleh Volchak wants to receive a decision of the Human Rights Committee and to legally document a violation of Article 7, and paragraph 1, Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in terms of international standards.
The human rights activist asks the Committee to:
- recognize a violation of subparagraph (a), paragraph 3, Article 2, Article 7, paragraph 1, Article 10, and paragraph 1, Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
- recommend that the state should provide him with an effective remedy, including compensation.