UN Human Rights Committee registers complaint by freelance journalist Ales Burakou
The United Nations Human Rights Committee has registered a complaint submitted by Ales Burakou, a freelance journalist working with a number of media in Mahilioŭ. However, according to the journalist, the envelope had been apparently opened by unknown persons before it reached him.
On 8 October 2014, the Lieninski District Court of Mahilioŭ found Ales Burakou guilty of illegal production of media products, namely a publication entitled “Smuggler’s Trail: Do Russian sanctions work near border?”, which was published on the website of Deutsche Welle’s Russian-language service. For this he was fined 6 million rubles.
The freelance journalist tried to appeal against the ruling to the Regional Court, including through its Chairman, and the Supreme Court, but the courts did not side with Burakou. After that, he decided to write to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. On July 28, the journalist sent his complaint, which was prepared with the help of human rights defenders Barys Bukhel and Leanid Sudalenka.
A copy of the complaint has been sent to representatives of the state, so that they could prepare their comments and answers.
Normally, it takes between a year and two for the Committee to consider a complaint.