Belarus violates rights of Polish national
Such a conclusion was arrived at by the UN Human Rights Committee after considering the case of Mrs. Volha Pichuhina. The Committee found a violation of paragraph 3, Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the right to be brought promptly before a judge in order to address the issue of detention and recommended that the Belarusian government did not repeat such mistakes in the future and compensated the victim’s damages.
According to human rights defender Raman Kisliak, Volha Pichuhina’s complaint dealt with the circumstances of an incident that happened in 2002, when the Polish citizen was detained at the Belarusian border while returning from Moscow to Warsaw. The reason for the arrest was that Mrs. Pichuhina failed to declare 50,000 US dollars, as she did it in the Russian capital, and had an authorized permit from a bank. Not paying attention to this fact, the Belarusian customs officials arrested the foreign currency (and later seized it), and Volha Pichuhina was placed first in the detention center, and later in the pre-trial prison, where she suffered a minor stroke. As a result, the trial in this case took place only 11 days after the arrest.
According to Kisliak, in her complaint the citizen of Poland said that immediately after her arrest she was not brought to court for a hearing, as provided for by paragraph 3, Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. "Within 48 hours after the citizen is accused, he or she should be brought to court, the latter should then decide to keep the person in custody, to release on bail or to apply other obligations under pre-trial procedures," said Raman Kisliak. All attempts by Volha Pichuhina to obtain compensation for moral damages were rejected by Belarusian courts of various instances, after which she submitted a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee.