UN Human Rights Committee registers complaint by freelance journalist Kanstantsin Zhukouski
The UN Human Rights Committee has registered a complaint by Kanstantsin Zhukouski, a freelance journalist in Homieĺ, who was fined for covering a protest in Svietlahorsk in November 2014.
The Belarusian government is asked to explain why shooting a video, which was later aired on the Polish-based Belsat satellite TV channel, was viewed as illegal picketing.
In his complaint, Kanstantsin Zhukouski asked to find a violation of his right to gather and disseminate information (freedom of expression). He also asked to recommend the Government of Belarus to change the national law on mass events, so that its application did not lead to a breach of the right to gather and disseminate information.
The journalist was fined for covering a picket staged by Yury Liashenka, a disabled activist, who protested against violations of the rights of people with disabilities. The Svietlahorsk district authorities banned the protest, but the wheelchair user came to the town’s central square with a poster “Down with the Chaos in Law”. Kanstantsin Zhukouski filmed the event, for which he was later fined by the court.