Homel activist supplements complaint to UN Human Rights Committee with new facts
Coordinator of the youth network of the independent trade union of radio-electronic industry Andrei Stryzhak complained to the UN Human Rights Committee against a ban imposed by officials in Rechytsa on a peaceful assembly that was scheduled for September 8, 2013 and was expected to protest against the decision of the Belarusian government to abolish sick leave payments for parents raising children.
“The UN Human Rights Committee has already registered my complaint and it is considering my complaint against a 2012 ban on a peaceful assembly in support of my colleagues from the Mikashevichy-based Granite enterprise. Now I have supplemented the complaint with new facts to show that prohibitions of peaceful assemblies in Belarus are systematic,” says Andrei Stryzhak.
Interestingly, the Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Court, Andrei Zabara, when responding to a supervisory complaint by the activist wrote that international law on freedom of assembly was not contrary to the national legislation, as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights allows for restrictions on the right to peaceful assembly. At the same time, the Judge said nothing about the work of the UN Human Rights Committee, which proceeds from the fact that it is the government who has an obligation to prove in every instance the purposes for which it prohibits a particular mass event.
Andrei Stryzhak asks the Committee to find the violation by Belarus of his rights under Article 19 (freedom of expression) and Article 21 (freedom of assembly) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The trade union activists also urges the UN to make recommendations for the Republic of Belarus on bringing the national law on mass events and the practice of its application into line with the country's international commitments.