Statement of HRC “Viasna” and Belarusian Association of Journalists regarding detention of journalist Aliaksandr Alesin
The Human Rights Center "Viasna" and "Belarusian Association of Journalists" urge Belarusian KGB to inform the public about the cause and place of detention of the journalist of the newspaper "Belarusy i Rynak", a member of the NGO "Belarusian Association of Journalists" Aliaksandr Alesin, as well as the essence of the accusation against him.
Citizens of the Republic of Belarus are guaranteed the right to receive, store and disseminate complete, reliable and timely information about the activities of state bodies, public associations, political, economic, cultural, international life and the environment (Article 34 of the Constitution).
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states: Everyone has the right to freedom of expression; this right includes freedom to seek, receive and impart information.
The use of this right imposes special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be prescribed by law in the cases when they are necessary to ensure respect of the rights or reputations of others or protect national security, public order, public health or morals.
We believe that the information about the arrest or detention of a person, the essence of the suspicions and accusations, procedural status, place of detention and other aspects that are not related to the details of the prosecution, can not violate the secrecy of the investigation, protected by law, and voicing such information does not pose a threat to the interests of national security or of public order.
Therefore, the Human Rights Center "Viasna" and the NGO "Belarusian Association of Journalists" urge the competent state authorities – the prosecutor's office, the Interior Ministry, the KGB and the Investigative Committee to inform the public via the media and their own sites about each resonant case or strategic restrictions on the rights of citizens.
The Human Rights Center "Viasna" and the NGO "Belarusian Association of Journalists" remind that regardless of the severity of the charges, the detainees have all rights except those that are limited by the very fact of detention, and shall not be subjected to torture and other kinds of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
Minsk, December 5, 2014