Mikalai Statkevich files another complaint to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations
On 18 November, 2013 a personal communication (complaint) of the former presidential candidate at the 2010 elections Mikalai Statkevich was sent to the UN Human Rights Committee (UN HRC). The interests of Statkevich at the UN HRC are represented by his wife Maryna Adamovich.
The preparation and submission of the individual communication on behalf of Mikalai Statkevich is the result of collaboration of the educational agency "Belarusian Documentation Center" with an international public organization «Freedom now» (Washington, USA) and American law firms «McKool Smith PC» and «Hogan Lovells».
Lawyers of law firms McKool Smith and Hogan Lovells in this case act as representatives and international legal advisers of Statkevich and his wife and work pro bono (free of charge, for the public good).
This complaint is the second appeal to the UN Human Rights Committee by representatives of Mikalai Statkevich. In February 2011, Ekaterina Statkevich, daughter of the political prisoner, filed a petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. On 19 June, 2011, the Working Group considered that Belarus had violated the rights of Mikalai Statkevich and made a conclusion that the imprisonment of Mikalai Statkevich is arbitrary and constitutes a violation of Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Working Group urged the Belarusian government to undertake the necessary steps to remedy the situation, which should include immediate release of Statkevich and adequate compensation.
So far, the Republic of Belarus has not fulfilled the conlusions of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and continues to keep the ex-presidential candidate in prison.
In the complaint, the Group for the preparation of this individual complaint on behalf of Mikalai Statkevich to the Human Rights Committee pointed out and proved a number of violations of internationally recognized standards committed by Belarusian authorities during investigation and trial of the criminal case in which he acted as one of the defendants.
In the complaint to the HRC the following rights of Mikalai Statkevich violated by the authorities are stated: the right to freedom of assembly, association, expression, the right to liberty and security of person, the right not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, degrading treatment and the right of a person deprived of liberty to be treated humanely and with dignity, the right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial court.
In the filed complaint there is a request to the Human Rights Committee to recognize the violations of Mikalai Statkevich’s rights by the Republic of Belarus ensured by the articles of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as to recommend to the Republic of Belarus to eliminate the consequences of the violations and to provide effective remedies, such as immediate release, termination of political persecution and full rehabilitation, financial compensation.
Also, the communication contains recommendations to the Republic of Belarus to bring national legislation on mass events and its application in accordance with the international obligations of the state.
Raisa Mikhailovskaia, Belarusian Documentation Center