Human rights activist urges border officials to return seized laptop

2015 2015-05-29T15:10:30+0300 2015-05-29T15:10:30+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Leanid Sudalenka

Leanid Sudalenka

Human rights defender Leanid Sudalenka has complained to the Chairman of the Customs Committee Yury Sianko urging him to return the laptop seized from the activist at the border checkpoint Kamenny Loh on May 24. The human rights activist also complains about the systematic violation of his rights by the Ašmiany customs.

“My name was added to the political blacklists, so-called “list compiled at the request of law enforcement authorities”, which have been illegally operating on the Belarusian border. As soon the border guard scanned my passport, her face immediately changed. She phoned someone and there appeared another officer who took my passport and left. Some 30 minutes later a dozen guards and customs officials began a special operation to search my car. The car was fenced with shields, grids and a metal rope. The witnesses had the impression of watching the detention of a drug dealer,” says shared Leanid Sudalenka.

“The personal inspection was conducted by two customs officers and two witnesses. They forced to take off my shirt and shoes. Then they copied my bank card details. In my backpack they found a laptop, and the agenda and a brochure of the Non-Profit Law Forum, which I had attended. All this was seized without explanation. I had the strong impression that this was the continuation of the threats and intimidation that began against me and my children in the beginning of the years,” says the human rights activist.

In his complaint, Mr. Sudalenka points to the systematic violation of his rights. In particular, he attached decision No. 2114 / 2011 of the UN Human Rights Committee (Sudalenka vs. Belarus), which concerned the confiscation of printed materials on the eve of the presidential election in 2010. In this case, international experts found a violation of the author’s rights to freedom of receipt and dissemination of information and obliged Belarus to prevent similar violations in the future.