Brest:UN Human Rights Committee recognizes violation of the personal immunity of Zhana Koush

2013 2013-06-03T15:20:04+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The UN Human Rights Committee has taken a decision on a complaint filed by a Brest activist of the Movement "For Freedom", Zhana Koush. The decision states that Belarus violated her right to freedom and personal immunity by unlawful detention.

As stated by human rights defender Raman Kisliak who represents the activist's interests, Zhana Koush applied to the Committee back in 2008, complaining against being twice detained in Brest on suspicion in committing a felony (the charges were subsequently dropped). In the first case she spent 61 hours in custody before the trial, and in the second case – 72 hours. The activist believes that detention of a person for more than 48 hours without delivery to the court violates the right to freedom and personal immunity, guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

"The Committee recognized violations of the Covenant in the both cases", explained Raman Kisliak. "It is also worth noting that before that nobody raised the issue of about violation of the Covenant concerning the detention terms shorter than 72 hours without delivery to judge. In Zhana Koush's case the Committee establishes a new UN standard: 61-hour detention without delivery to court is a violation of the Covenant."

The human rights defender believes that the Committee's conclusions on Zhanna Koush's case will inevitably lead to a review of the legislation on detention and custodial placement both in Belarus and in other state parties to the Covenant which haven't yet introduced the maximum 48-hour term for the delivery of the detained person to court. "The introduction of such norm in the legislation will become a guarantee against the groundlessly long detentions of citizens," stated Mr. Kisliak.