Statement of Belarusian Helsinki Committee on persecution of human rights defenders Tatsiana Reviaka and Uladzimir Labkovich
Tatsiana Reviaka and Uladzimir
Labkovich were detained on 5 August 2013 while handing out leaflets
with a portrait of the head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Ales Bialatski, arrested two years ago. Officers of the Savetski
District Police Department of Minsk qualified their actions as a
“violation of the order of organizing and holding mass events”
and drew up reports of administrative violation.
Having analyzed the Law “On Mass Events in the Republic of Belarus” we can state that the distribution of leaflets is not a form of a mass event, regulated by this law. This conclusion is also confirmed by the practice: for instance, the people who distribute advertisement leaflets, aren't persecuted for it.
In such circumstances the prosecution of the human rights defenders for violation of the Law “On Mass Events” is a direct discrimination and a gross limitation of freedom of expression, which directly contradicts the international undertakings and legislation of the Republic of Belarus.
Belarusian Helsinki Committee urges to stop the administrative prosecution of Tatsiana Reviaka and Uladzmir Labkovich.