Freelance journalist Natallia Kryvashei complains to UN Human Rights Committ
Freelance journalist Natallia Kryvashei complains to UN Human Rights Committee
Natallia Kryvashei, a freelance journalist in Homieĺ, has filed a complaint with the UN Human Rights Committee to challenge a violation of her right to receive and disseminate information. The complaint refers to a number of cases of 2015 when the journalist was convicted of illegal production of media products for the satellite TV channel "Belsat" without government accreditation.
On April 24, the Court of Homieĺ’s Centraĺny district fined Ms. Kryvashei 5.4 mln rubles for a report on the problems of housing and communal services in the Naroŭlia district.
On June 5, the Buda-Kašaliova District Court sentenced the journalist to a fine of 3.6 mln for a story about dishoused villagers.
On June 10, the Centraĺny District Court of Homieĺ fined the journalist 9 mln for a report on child's murder.
On July 2, the Rahačoŭ District Court fined her 6.3 mln for a report about a local condensed milk manufacturer.
“In Belarus, I have passed all the stages of legal protection, I even appealed to the Prosecutor's Office, and all to no avail,” said Ms. Kryvashei. “It turns out that there is not protection within the country, so I used the only possible mechanism for the protection of my rights at the international level.”
Lawyer Leanid Sudalenka, representing Natallia Kryvashei at the UN, said that the journalist’s case revealed a number of contradictions of national legislation with the international treaties ratified by Belarus.
“The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantees everyone freedom to gather and disseminate information. Meanwhile, the media national law excessively restricts the very essence of this right,” he said. “I am sure that in this case the international experts will find a violation of the freelancer’s rights.”