Viasna demands respect for procedural rights of Eduard Palchys
Council of the Human Rights Center "Viasna"
14 June 2016 – Minsk
On January 23, Eduard Palchys, editor of the 1863x.com website, was detained on the territory of the Russian Federation. He was then arrested and extradited to Belarus. Eduard Palchys was charged under Part 1, Art. 130 (“incitement to racial, national or religious enmity or discord”), and Part 2, Art. 343 (“dissemination of pornographic materials”) of the Criminal Code. According to available information, Eduard Palchys has not yet been allowed to see his lawyer.
We stress that the Constitution of Belarus and international standards, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, guarantee the right to legal assistance, which means, inter alia, being able to have unhindered and confidential meetings with the counsel, unlimited in number and duration.
We also remind about the absolute prohibition of torture under Article 7 of the Covenant (“no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”). We stress that as long as the person is held in detention the responsibility for his or her personal security, physical and psychological health is laid upon the Belarusian authorities.
Based on the above, we demand respect for all the procedural safeguards and rights in relation to Eduard Palchys, who is currently held in custody in the detention center in Žodzina, namely:
- To ensure the right to defense, including immediately allowing him to see a lawyer;
- To ensure appropriate conditions of detention and treatment, which would not constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, but would meet the international standards of detention.