UN HRC Finds Belarus State Violated Journalist's Right to Information
At the 111th session, held 7-25 July, the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations considered five new cases concerning Belarus and issued decisions confirming the violation by the Government of Belarus of certain rights of Belarusian citizens. A brief review of cases was made for “Homel Spring” by the head of the Center for Strategic Lawsuits Leanid Sudalenka, reports Viasna.
The Case “Maryna Koktysh against Belarus” (№1985/2010) refers to the obstacles, created to the journalist of the independent newspaper "Narodnaya Volya" Maryna Koktysh in getting accreditation to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly (lower chamber of the Belarusian parliament).
In autumn 2007 Maryna Koktysh, who had previously been accredited at the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, was denied accreditation for the first time. The refusal was explained by a decision of the Presidential Security Service. From then on, the newspaper and the journalist tried to appeal against the refusal in courts of different levels, but to no avail.
Considering this case the Human Rights Committee concluded that by creating obstacles to the journalist in obtaining information the Government violated Article 19 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the freedom to seek, receive and impart information).
“Certainly, I am happy that the international community does not forget about rights of Belarusian journalists and supports us. Although, I doubt that the decision will anyhow influence the situation with my accreditation,” said Maryna Koktysh.