MFA refuses to recognize decision by UN Human Rights Committee
Human rights defenders Siarhei Housha, Viktar Syrytsa and Viktar Meziak received yesterday a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed by deputy Minister Valiantsin Rybakou, as a reply to their statement demanding information on the implementation of a decision taken by the UN Human Rights Committee on their complaint.
The statement was filed on 7 June and dealt with the Committee’s decision of 27 July, 2012. The activists’ complaint appealed a ban imposed by Baranavichy authorities on holding a picket in September 2006. All the appeals against the decision were later dismissed by Belarusian courts. Therefore, they submitted their joint complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee, who eventually recognized the violation of the activists’ rights by the Belarusian government and urged the authorities to review the national legislation and its application in order to secure its compliance with Art. 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
However, in his letter, deputy Minister Rybakou says that the Committee’s Opinions are non-binding, while its par. 12 abuses the international body’s authority. Therefore, the MFA representative refused to provide any information on the case.