Former candidate complains to UN about absence of justice
Mikalai Novikau, activist of the United Civil Party and former candidate for the Homel Regional Council, has not been able to sue the JSC “Palesdruk”, which refused to print his campaign flyers during the last local elections. The UCP activist is now seeking to protect his rights in the UN Human Rights Committee, where he has submitted a personal complaint.
This spring, Mikalai Novikau was not allowed to have his election materials printed after Aliaksandr Kurylenka, manager of the Palesdruk printing firm, said that the candidate’s leaflets called for the disruption of the elections.
The Court of first instance, where the independent candidate filed a complaint, refused to open a case. According to Judge Vital Kozyrau of Homel’s Chyhunachny District Court, such right is not provided by the Electoral Code. A similar position was taken by judges of the appellate court, as well as by Chairmen of the Regional and Supreme Courts.
“Appealing to the courts, I reminded of my constitutional right to judicial protection of rights and freedoms. Also, I cited Article 6 of the Code for Civil Procedures, which clearly states that “denial of judicial protection on the grounds of absence, incompleteness, inconsistency, ambiguity of a regulation is not allowed”. If the Election Code does not give the right to go to court, does this mean that Constitution and international guarantees of access to justice do not act instead, which are given to us by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” sums up the former candidate.
With the assistance form the Homel Center for Strategic Litigation, Mikalai Novikau asks the UN Committee to establish a violation of his right of access to justice under Article 14 in conjunction with Article 2 of the Covenant, and to recommend to the Government of Belarus to change the Electoral Code so that its application does not lead to a denial of justice.